The dialogue between the twos sovereign nation continues on all levels. This evening, youths, Belizean and Guatemalan met, not in a conference room, but a football pitch. Athletes from the Under 17 teams of both countries played a friendly match at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex while the leaders continued to dialogue. Love News spoke to the coaches of both teams about how the initiative came about.
Dale Pelayo Sr. Head Coach Belize U17 National Team: “We are going up against a club from Guatemala. The purpose of the game is a friendly relationship between Guatemala and Belize sponsored by Digicel, Diginet. What happened is that we are playing a friendly to show our friendly relationship with Guatemala and due to the ICJ situation for us as Belizeans it is an important game. In any sports and in anything we do when we go up against Guatemala there is always that rivalry behind our minds and so for us as Belizeans, for me as the head coach and for the players it is important to remember the reason for going out and winning today’s game.
Gustavo Ares Coach Guatemala U17 Team: “What we have is a social project that we started about 1 year ago with people that have not many resources but they loved the sport and not only because we like football but because we wish to better the social class. What is happening in Guatemala is that the people sometimes get involved in crime. Those are things that we want to get them out of: they are young people that train often, they work hard for this project, they are young people between the ages of 15 -18. Many of them never used to play football and now they play football and that is what we want. We are not an academy charging any money, we do it for free for any student that wants to get in.”