Tonight there is controversy within the Football Federation of Belize. The recently installed executives for the FFB are being stripped of their positions after the Election Appeal Committee ruled that the election was null and void. The FFB had their elections on August 22 after some confusion due to the Covid-19 regulations. It turns out, however, that after the FFB had changed the venue from San Ignacio to the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, there were some guidelines they did not adhere to. Love News received a copy of the ruling from the committee dated September 27 which indicates that the federation’s General Secretary, Earl Jones, acted against the statutes of the Electoral FFB. According to the FFB President, Sergio Chuc he is not accepting the ruling from the appeal committee and that the current executive still stands and nobody is being taken down. Chuc says the basis of his stance is simply because only one signature is on the letter and that is the Chairperson of the Election Appeals Committee, Jacqueline Willoughby. Chuc added that the other members of the committee were not a part of the decision.
Sergio Chuc, President, Football Federation of Belize: “On the 1st of September ten days after the election we got an email the federation got an email and it had several electronic signatures attached to it where they were challenging the validity of the electoral process and therefore the election results. That was ten days almost after the election so it was out of date, there would be no judicial body that could look at it however this electronic document was sent directly to the chairlady of the Electoral Appeals Committee. The General Secretary of the federation wrote the chairlady and told her that she needed to return the documents to the sender and inform him where those documents needed to be sent which was the Disciplinary and Ethics committee. That was never received so we thought that was the end of it. So last night when we received that bombshell we were surprised because earlier in the month the General Secretary had written to her informing her that he was not copied in the returned documents that she did not copy him so we wanted to know what was there. After we received the information this morning the General secretary touched base with the rest of the committee members and low and behold we found out that they were not part of this decision, that it seems at this point that it was a decision passed by one person of the five member committee and therefore at this point the executive cannot entertain that decision. It’s coming from an independent body but it does not have the required number of persons approving the decision so we’re not entertaining it at this point.”
Chuc also spoke about the day the elections were held and why the venue was changed at the last minute from the San Ignacio hotel to the FFB headquarters in Belmopan. He added that the election had the attendance of all 21 congress members.
Sergio Chuc, President, Football Federation of Belize: “We had gotten permission from the Ministry of Health and the police department to have the election at the San Ignacio Hotel but the last day before the election, that was the Friday, the police department said that they had changed their opinion and that we could not have it at the San Ignacio Hotel even though we had four different conference rooms booked out already so that we would not be violating the laws and I believe the Prime Minister had pronounced at his press conference then that no the elections could not have been held at the San Ignacio Hotel. Subsequent to that I spoke to the Attorney General and we made an agreement that, on his recommendation, that if the elections were held at the FFB facility in Belmopan which is some twenty miles away from San Ignacio at the open air on the field then it would be alright the police department could come and supervise and once all our health protocols were in place then they would have no issue with it. That is what happened we moved the election venue from San Ignacio to Belmopan and we had actually 100% of the congress members attending the congress and proceeding with the elections.”
The committee also ruled that the Jones did not abide by the decision of the Disciplinary and Committee along with the recommendations of the FFB executive and the electoral process outlined in the Electoral Code. The ruling from the committee comes after an appeal was made by the prospective candidates for the elections. The decision was handed down by the Chairperson of the Election Appeal Committee Jacqueline Willoughby to General Secretary Earl Jones. The FFB has since issued a press release on the issue stating, quote, “The FFB Secretariat is in receipt of an opinion independently submitted by the Chair of the FFB Appeals Committee Mrs. Jacqueline Willoughby dated the 27 th September 2020 and received on October 1, 2020 regarding the August 22 Ordinary Congress. The opinion which has now been published by various media houses makes reference to the FFB Elections held on August 22, 2020 and purported irregularities with the Congress proceedings. It also mandated that the elections be recalled and reconvened by the 31 December 2020. The FFB Secretariat, since receiving the decision/opinion is presently reviewing the matter and will continue to consult with its Judicial bodies in determining the way forward.