Vicente Says the Perception of Bribery Exists

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Updated: June 13, 2017

After being accused of bribery, corruption, conflict of interest, and election tampering, Sergio Chuc has been impeded from contesting the presidency of the Football Federation of Belize. Elections have been scheduled for June 24 and the only persons who have been successfully nominated to run for president are Ruperto Vicente and Marlon Kuylen. Vicente was the one who made a complaint against Chuc, accusing him of bribery, corruption and conflict of interest- all of which Chuc has denied. Vicente’s basis for the allegations is that Chuc’s sponsorship to the teams can be interpreted as bribery. However, yesterday Chuc explained that he has been financially supporting the sport and the teams for years and that no one he has helped can vote, so there is no benefit to gain. Today, Vicente told Love News that the moment Chuc decided to run for the post of president, he should have ceased from sponsoring the teams.

RUPERTO VICENTE

It’s because it puts all other candidates at a disadvantage because if you are giving gifts to the lead then there is no way that I can or any other candidate can go and lobby for those six votes that the league has during election time. So that puts us at a disadvantage and that needs to be understood. So when Mr. Chuc did that then he opened himself to disciplinary actions.”

LOCAL REPORTER

What would you say that your complaint was a move by yourself to have Mr.Chuc removed from the competition to the post of presidency?”

RUPERTO VICENTE

That was not my intention, my intention was to bring to the attention of the executive of the football association the activities that is taking place.”

LOCAL REPORTER

In his defense he has said that he has been sponsoring teams and the league for so many years so why should it matter that he is running for president?”

RUPERTO VICENTE

“As a candidate for any office in the football federation of Belize you cannot offer gifts, as an independent person he has been offering gifts to the teams for years.”

Chuc’s appeal to have his nomination accepted failed even though the disciplinary committee of the FFB found that there was no evidence to support Vicente’s claim. Chuc has sought legal advice but a legal path to his problem may lead to months of paper work. So the quickest step he thought of to prevent the election is by calling on voters not to show up on Election Day. That in itself, says Vicente, is an offence by FIFA’s code of ethics.

RUPERTO VICENTE

That is encouraging members to sabotage the congress and the working of the federation that is another offence, you cannot do that and so the people who sign on to the letter have been set up and exposed to suspension from the federation and those people who received the gifts or the members or teams that received the gift from Mr.Chuc have also exposed themselves to bribery and corruption. The person who is instigating it and those who sign on to it have opened themselves to further sanctions and suspensions from football. So it is a dangerous path that they are taking.”

According to Chuc, CONCACAF, the supervising body for the FFB, has been notified of the internal dispute within the federation.