Yesterday the National Sports Council issued a release in which it decertified the Football Federation of Belize, claiming that the organization had failed to submit documentation as required by law. Thats the latest move in what has seemed at times to be a personal vendetta against the FFB by Minister of Sports John Saldivar. So where does de-certification leave the FFB, and what is that bodys response to the release yesterday? We asked FFB representative Alex Palacio today.

alexAlex Palacio Football Federation of Belize

“I saw the information myself and I was very surprised at all of the information because as far as I am concern, we were registered on Holy Thursday we send in our registration the government asked us for some information through the Executive Director Mr. Patrick Henry which we send it again for the first of June, that has been dealt with already, so it is very amazing to see that we are being decertified. I must say that along with football they asked other organizations so I don’t know what is the governments stand on not recognizing the present situation here in Belize.”

So GOB says FFB didnt submit required documentation and FFB says it did. Thats a battle which wont be won tonight, but there now seems to be a sports crisis in the making. The FFB is at this time preparing a national team to play against Montserrat in Trinidad, but if the FFB is decertified then they wont be considered a national team, at least by GOB. That hasnt deterred the FFB, even after what seems to be an act of state-sabotage as the members of the team have allegedly all been denied visas to travel to Trinidad.

Alex Palacio Football Federation of Belize

“The President call me this morning and said that he was surprised to find out that when the player went to the embassy that they were all denied visas and that was very strange for a national team to be denied visas, so we are wondering if it was deliberately done or if there was someone behind the move for a player not to get the visa, but by all means necessary like how Bob Marley says when one door closes others are open the team will go to Trinidad and play with Montserrat over there.”

And like we said, the FFB is undeterred. According to Palacio, despite governments best or worst efforts, as the case may be, our football players will be holding the Belizean flag high in Trinidad.

Alex Palacio Football Federation of Belize

“The FFB is an International Organization recognized by FIFA and as far as we are concerned all our players are Belizean and there is nothing there in Belize that says as Belizeans they cannot wear the Belizean flag.”

Mike Rudon-Reporter

“So you all will go ahead as plan?”

Alex Palacio Football Federation of Belize

“The game goes on, we play in Trinidad next week the fifteen of June and they will play the return match here in Belize the ninth of June both games will take place.”

In a letter from Acting Director of the National Sports Council Patrick Henry today, the FFB was informed that it is no longer recognized as the official national body for football in Belize.

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