FIFA Reveal Suspension of Football Federation of Belize
June 20, 2011
The Emergency Committee of world soccer’s governing body, FIFA, decided on Friday, June 17, to suspend the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) with immediate effect on account of severe governmental interference.
The suspension forced the postponement of the return leg of the qualifying tie for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, due to be played in Belize yesterday, June 19, between the home team and Montserrat.
The suspension was enforced due to the government of Belize, through the Ministry of Sports, informing the FFB that it was “not authorized to represent this Country in any local or international competition or in any other forum for football on behalf of the Government, People and Nation of Belize”, since it had “failed to meet the requirements for registration with the Council, as the National body for the administration of football in Belize”, according to the Ministry on June 8.
Two days later, FIFA wrote to the FFB to inform them that this was a clear case of governmental interference and gave the FFB until 30 June to settle the dispute or be referred to the FIFA Emergency Committee for suspension due to a violation of the FIFA Statutes.
The deadline was cut short after the Belize government wrote to FIFA on 16 June saying the Belize police would “not be providing any services to the Federation with respect to the security of the visiting team and officials at the match” to be played on 19 June.
Under these circumstances, and due to the interference of the government of Belize, FIFA claimed that it could not take the responsibility of letting the match take place. The match has therefore been postponed to a new date to be confirmed, but no later than 10 July 2011, provided that the situation is back to normal regarding the FFB and the suspension has been lifted by that date.
In the event that the match cannot take place by that date, the national team of Belize will be excluded from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil preliminary competition.