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Embarrassment For FFB As Congress Gets No Quorum

Posted By: Marty

Embarrassment For FFB As Congress Gets No Quorum - 06/27/17 11:27 AM

On Friday we told you that the stage was set for a massive boycott of the FFB Congress by a majority of member associations. And that's just what happened on Saturday when the Football Federation rented a big room at the Princess for a very small turnout - too small for a quorum. 7News was there on Saturday, and Sunday - here's the story:...

Jules Vasquez reporting
Paramilitary police guarded the stairway at the Princess on Saturday morning. I was told the media was not permitted upstairs and while I did try to plea my case I was told that unless my name was on the list of delegates I could not go up.

Anthony Mahler, an executive member and one of the candidates who wasn't allowed to run, was told he couldn't enter with his personal firearm.

Candidate Ruperto Vicente and Finance Director Eugene Cleland waited in the hotel lobby for delegates that never arrived and when Vicente went up, he too had to be searched.

The only who did not get searched was Marco Leal the FIFA Rep straight off the plane. But by the time he got upstairs, the meeting had been called off.

The FFB's 10th. Congress had to be postponed - due to a lack of quorum:

Marco Leal, Director, Member Associations
"There was no quorum according to the statute you need majority - half plus one, fifty percent plus one of the members for the congress to take place. Hence there was no quorum, the congress cannot go through."

Jules Vasquez
"How unusual is this?"

Marco Leal, Director, Member Associations
"Well it happens more than you think around the world. it's not the optimum on things given the situation, the political tension that Belize is going through. I will like to stress and like I told the congress for the past 3 elections we encountered tensions here in Belize. It's always the same situation. We want to look towards the future of Belize towards the development of football in the country and sometimes this politics gets in the way and hinder the normal operation of the federation."

Marlon Kuylen, Acting President - FFB
"For our FIFA and CONCACAF representatives to take the time out to come to Belize and us not being able to complete our mandate and comply with our statutes with having our congress, to me it's very embarrassing."

Embarrassment that has no foreseeable end - because the issue of Sergio Chuc's candidacy is still up in the air:

Jules Vasquez
"Now the court of arbitration for sport - there is a pending matter with the candidacy of Mr. Chuc. What is CONCACAF view of this?"

Marco Leal, Director, Member Associations
"We are not involve in that. It's a recourse that is guaranteed or permitting under the statutes. It is clearly stated he is going in the structures of football, so he has his right to go in front of the arbitration for court."

Marlon Kuylen, Acting President - FFB
"Let's say we have elections tomorrow, but the court of arbitration ruling can decide that you know what Mr. Chuc was wrong and therefore you need to recall the elections. So that's still on the back burner. So it's complicated."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you upset with Mr. Chuc? Once upon a time he was your ally. Are you upset with him for perhaps fomenting a lot of this and instigating a boycott?"

Marlon Kuylen, Acting President - FFB
"I wouldn't say I am upset. He feels he was wrong. The delegates that did not show took a stance and it's within their right. Now, he has taken his case to the court of arbitration and that's the right way to do it. However, I am hoping that we can get over this. No, but I am not upset with him."

But many in this room were upset with those who boycotted and effectively aborted the congress. However FIFA and CONCACAF made it clear that they had hands off on all matters:

Reporter
"The boycott that's happened here today, can sanctions be brought against those who has not participated?"

Marco Leal, Director, Member Associations
"It's within their right to attend or not to attend. The members have the right to attend the congress. We are not looking into that. We are here as observers with FIFA. We are not here to investigate, to lay sanctions. We are here to determine what's going on with the process, to be witness of the who legality of the congress. So in that respect we are not looking into imposing sanctions as it is a right given by the statutes to attend the congress."

Jules Vasquez
"Is the decision taken by the relevant committee of the FFB to not allow Mr. Chuc to participate? Is that something that CONCACAF looked at all for the soundness of that decision?"

Marco Leal, Director, Member Associations
"I won't comment on the legality taken by electoral committee based on the recommendation of the executive committee of the federation. I won't comment."

Reporter
"All that side though, is CONCACAF investigating bribery allegations against Mr. Chuc and other such allegations? That's what we understood from the secretary general Mr. Blease."

Marco Leal, Director, Member Associations
"I can tell you at the moment we have no such investigations at CONCACAF, because remember we need to be provided clear evidence that this has happen for us to start an investigation. Also the higher ranking bodies FIFA. So from CONCACAF I can tell you that there is no investigation ongoing."

But FIFA is looking closely at Belize as troubled member state:

Jules Vasquez
"You referred earlier to the last 3 elections in Belize have shown this tension. The last time we had 22 rounds and it ended in a tie."

Marco Leal, Director, Member Associations
"Historic elections. The longest in FIFA's history."

Jules Vasquez
"The longest in FIFA's history and now we are having this. You see all this fighting at the top, yet on the field it's what are we fighting for. Isn't that a question that immediately arise?"

Marco Leal, Director, Member Associations
"Well it's all connected. But let me assure you that we will try that this is the last time this situation happens. As we explain last visit a year ago, statutes revision process will take place - a deep statutes revision process which will incorporate new procedures implemented by FIFA and CONCACAF that will try to avoid situations like the ones we have."

"But you are correct. It is a pity that political situations directly impact the field, the youth, the players who want to play, to bring the level of Belize football up."

Jules Vasquez
"Explain to me how that as football executives makes you feel that up here you all are fighting so much, so visibly internationally and yet the level of plays is not stellar?"

Marlon Kuylen, Acting President - FFB
"To me it's unnecessary, it's ridiculous and it's unfortunate."

Reporter
"Any implications going forward with CONCACAF or FIFA's support of the FFB financially with this incident?"

Marco Leal, Director, Member Associations
"We will have to see the way forward. Currently the support is there from both our institutions, from both organizations for development efforts. Again, it is a pity that this political situation have impact on the game, but to answer your question, for the time being there is no measures taken against Belize for the funding or development projects."

Jules Vasquez
"Are we in jeopardy in facing some sort of sanction from FIFA or CONCACAF?"

Marlon Kuylen, Acting President - FFB
"It does not seem so at the moment, but perhaps depending on what happens tomorrow they may have some repercussions."

And on Sunday, when by statute, they had to try and hold the congress 24 hours later, again, it had to be aborted:

Marlon Kuylen, Acting President - FFB
"Well only 3 of the 8 affiliates showed up today and so agenda item: elections, could not take place. The members have decided that they did not want to have any congress at all, but then we took a 5 minute break for them to reconsider and after that break, they came back and they decided that we would go ahead with 2 items on the agenda namely the financial reports and the activity reports. But all of a sudden I don't know for whatever reason half way through the first item which is the activity reports, they decided that you know what we don't want to proceed."

So, what's next for the FFB? Well, first it has to hold an extraordinary congress to select an Ethics Committee - which would replace the controversial electoral committee. But now - and this is where it gets really interesting - the entire election process has re-started. And, guess what that means? Sergio Chuc can offer himself as a fresh candidate since it is a new election process - meaning he won't have to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It's a crazy turnaround but both Chuc and Acting President Kuylen confirmed to us that FIFA attorney Luca Nicola is the one who said that is the way forward.

It could be another six months before an extraordinary congress is held to elect an Ethics Committee. In the interim, the budget and the financials were not approved on Sunday.

Channel 7

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