It has been a year unlike any other for Belizean football, with all manner of national teams going out to represent the country from junior to senior level. The latest to travel is the U-20 Lady Jaguars female team, who will take a short hop to Honduras on Tuesday for the first half of the UNCAF U-20 qualifier. The Football Federation of Belize’s (FFB) Women’s Football Director Georgina Zabaneh gives us a preview of the competition.
Georgina Zabaneh – Football Director:
For this tournament we’re separated into two groups. Our group is with Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize. The other group is Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica Both groups have to do their elimination process, which Belize is going on Tuesday, and the other group is a week later, in Panama. From there, the first place teams will advance to the CONCACAF Tournament in January.
The Federation’s executive member for female football, Cruz Gamez, tells us of the Ruperto Vicente-executive’s drive to continue female football development beyond local competitions.
Cruz Gamez – FFB:
The question was asked what the FFB will be doing for female football. At the present moment our plans are to start promoting female football from the grass-roots level up. So we’re starting a program that will include girls between the ages of six to twelve, and thereafter we’ll have the youth tournament. So that is one of the things we are doing. We have applied to FIFA for a community program, whereby sectors of the community are invited to this program, so that we can all work together to promote female football. So that is one of the programs that will come on-line, hopefully later this year. Also we want to promote more female coaches. So that is one of the things that we’ll also be doing, certifying female coaches for female football, and female referees. So that is all in plan for the Football Federation of Belize, this year and beyond.
The team plays Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and the top two teams from both groups – Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama play each other week after next – advance to the CONCACAF tournament in January, with top teams going to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada next summer.