Just when you thought you’ve seen it all in the latest Belize Guatemala border dispute, the matter stirs controversy in the sports world. Last week, the Belize National Basketball Selection pulled out of a tournament in Guatemala in disapproval of the Guatemalan Sports Federation’s logo. The logo includes a map which exhibits Belize as a part of Guatemala. The logo has been displayed on the federation’s letterhead, a t-shirt which was distributed to all participants of the event, and was even rumored to be on the jersey worn by Belize in the tournament. But that rumor was quickly shot down after photos of the jersey were posted online. In any case, the selection returned to Belize on Friday – that is all, but three players. This ignited a debate on social media regarding the player’s decision to remain in the tournament. Some argued that the men were wrong for still being a part of the event, while others argued that – it’s just basketball. We have yet to hear from the three players, but on Saturday, one of them posted on his Facebook page – “Can’t wait to reach back home so everybody could hear what’s really going on. Don’t believe everything you hear.” The Belize team was in Guatemala preparing for the upcoming Central American Games to be held in Costa Rica from March 11-17. Meanwhile, the tournament in Guatemala ended yesterday.
The trio has not even returned to Belize as yet and one of them is already facing the consequence of his decision to remain in the Guatemalan tournament. That player – Raul Roches is a first year student at Galen University and is currently on a sports scholarship. In a press release issued by Galen today, the college expressed “Our Administration believes that Mr. Roaches committed an unfortunate mistake and he has been requested, as a condition for him to remain on the student-athlete scholarship he now enjoys, to write a public apology to the Galen community and to the country of Belize at large by tomorrow March 5th.”