FFB holds first day of its U-17 Championship

The Football Federation of Belize held its opening ceremony for its U-17 Championship, a youth cup where teenagers from all parts of the country come with the hopes of one day forming part of the Under 17 National Team. This Championship is currently taking place at the newly renovated Isidoro Beaton Stadium where we spoke to Marlon Kuylen acting President of the FFB about the purpose of today’s tournament.

Marlon Kuylen, Acting President of the FFB;

The idea is for every player to have an opportunity to show case their talent so over the course of these three days, every member of everyvlcsnap-2016-08-22-12h21m30s55 team will have to be given an opportunity to play. We have about ten scouts which are made up of coaches and ex-players who will be look at the talent out there and from there we will choose twenty five of the very best to form the National Team. This National Team will be going to Panama in November to play in the Central American Cup. It is FIFA organized in the sense that it’s the FIFA World Cup but every region has to have their own qualifiers so we are preparing for the Central American Qualifiers, the best three teams I believe from that qualifiers will go on to play in the CONCACAF Qualifiers so hopefully, we think we have a good chance to put on a good show. Moreover though, apart from the players themselves showcasing their talents it’s a good practice run for our coaches because we have five officials from every district that will be here too with the teams and it’s also a good practice run for the referees.   

According to Mr. Kuylen, this will help the scouts of the National Under Seventeen Team select a better trained National Team to represent Belize in the upcoming Panama FIFA U-17 Qualifiers. Mr. Kuylen also spoke on the new “FIFA Live your Goal Campaign” officially sponsored and carried out by FIFA to target and encourage young women to get more involved in the sport.

Marlon Kuylen, Acting President of the FFB;

FIFA has the program called “Live Your Goals” and Belize was chosen this year to partake in this project and what we do is, we have zoned of the country into four and tomorrow at nine at the FFB Stadium Corozal and Orange Walk females will be coming to partake in what we call a festival so it will be held from nine to twelve. But this is to encourage young ladies to play football and those that are already in it, when they come to these festivals it’s a great opportunity for them to keep the fire burning. So we’re very happy that tomorrow we will be holding the first of this event.

We also caught up with former National Team goal keeper Shane Orio, now the acting Senior Vice President of the FFB, who spoke to us about his new role at the Football Federation.

Shane Orio, Acting Senior Vice President of the FFB;vlcsnap-2016-08-22-12h21m17s177

Not only giving back to the young guys but giving back to the country, my commencement in football I have played for the past eighteen years so it my process of not only giving back to the young people but giving back to the country in general because like I said, we have participation for Corozal to Toledo so it’s not only a selected area. Young have young people with different culture, different race and different background and to have them compete on the field and understand the importance of sport that is much more important than a lot of people to imagine so for me it is a process of me giving back to Belize on a whole.

The FIFA Live Your Goal Campaign starts Saturday August 20 at 9:00 am at the FFB Project Stadium in Belmopan.

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