The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) met in General Congress over the weekend to discuss its plans and objectives for football in the coming year. But the primary speculation rests on the fate of Deon McCauley, the young goal-scoring machine who was controversially left out of the selection that played the Caymans to nil-nil and one-one draws in the qualification series in March. FFB President Ruperto Vicente confirmed that McCauley has not been dropped from the national team program and is on the provisional squad for Belize’s second round with the Dominican Republic, but he will not be given special treatment.
Ruperto Vicente – FFB President
“Sir, we noticed that the newest roster includes Mr. McCaulay. Is that indicative of him being contacted or him getting in contact with FFB and making arraignments for the next match.
“The National Team director made it clear in his reports this morning that Deon McCaulay is on the national team program. He has been invited to be a part of the National Team. But, he cannot be given the same courtesy as the International Players because he he is not assigned to any team at the moment. He is a part of the team, he has been called to practice just like any other player.
And while Vicente says McCauley is as important as any other player, he will have to pay his own way here as the Federation only pays expenses for players attached to international teams which McCauley currently is not. [
“The ticket that we pay transportation for players who are engaged with a team internationally. Those players in the United States who are coming to work with the National Team pay their own way to be here. So we treat every player the same way.”
“Sir, what if he doesn’t have the money to pay for a simple ticket?”
“It is not a matter of paying for the ticket. It is a matter of the criteria’s and processes we have in place for our National Teams.”
“Sir, that is to say that Mr. McCaulay is to make his own way to Belize if he wants to participate.”
“Yes because at this moment, Mr. McCaulay is not attached to any football team internationally.”
And what of the fate of US deportee Rawell Pelayo? He was a vice-president in the Football Federation of Belize accompanying Belize’s first-ever national side to go to the Gold Cup to the United States in 2013. But two years later ,Rawell Pelayo returned home in disgrace, having served 21 months of a two-year sentence in New York State on charges of conspiring to import a controlled substance, specifically cocaine. Pelayo has deferred comment while he gets used to being back in the Jewel, but his criminal conviction has resulted in his having to give up his post in the Federation. At Saturday’s General Congress we understand an item on the agenda was to deal with Pelayo’s position, but it was removed, says President Ruperto Vicente, after Pelayo agreed to step aside voluntarily.
“Mr. Pelayo is a member of the football family and we want to treat every member of our football family with respect. Mr. Pelayo, yes, he was an agenda item on our Saturday’s meeting, but we remove that from the agenda. We want to give Mr. Pelayo to submit his resignation, which he has indicated that he will submit that resignation and so for that reason we moved the item from the agenda.”
Vicente says the Federation plans to move ahead with finding a successor. Turning back to the Congress itself, Vicente says the Federation will be getting assistance from FIFA for changes to the top semi-professional league as well as new disciplines. They will also be producing a delayed financial report of its spending on the Gold Cup team. The Federation has hired a financial director to oversee the writing of the audit report on the 2013 Gold Cup participation and the internal audit, and Vicente assured that past mistakes would not be repeated.