Will the truth ever be known about the financing of the National Team that participated in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup? There has been a back and forth between now-former vice president of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Rawell Pelayo, and his boss, Ruperto Vicente. When Pelayo was detained by U.S. authorities on entering the airport before the team played the Americans in Portland, Vicente says he was carrying the cheque stubs that he, Vicente, had asked him for. The FFB president admits he should have gotten them from him beforehand, but he denies Pelayo’s claims via Facebook that he never had them.
“Let me chronicle the situation to you once again and I believe that this will be the last time I am going to address this issue. On the date we were leaving for the United States for the Goal Cup and Mr. Pelayo was going along with me, I called him, I sat at my church compound and I called Mr. Pelayo and I said to him,’ can you bring along with you the cheque stubs because we need them to reconcile?’ He said, ‘Mr. Vicente, I am bringing them with me.’ Along with advising Mr. Pelayo not to go on the trip but since he insists on going, bring along for me the cheque stubs. He said, ‘ yes I am bringing them.’ We got to the airport and I forgot to ask him for them. I did not get it from him here at the airport. We got to the United States and unfortunately. Mr. Pelayo was taken by the authorities. We did not get those cheque stubs and that is the truth. “
Vicente refused to get into a back and forth with his former colleagues but denies that he has any personal problems with Pelayo.
“I respect Mr. Pelayo, I respect the fact that he has a family and I will not say anything against him. For him to say that I was hoping that he remains in prison is beyond me. As an individual, as a person, as a human being, I would not want anyone to stay in prison. I have the greatest of respect for him and as I have said to him, ‘yes you cannot serve as a member of the Football Federation now but by resigning, I have the opportunity to have you assist us in football in other areas.”
Pelayo tendered his resignation after reaching a settlement with the FFB. He served time on charges of conspiracy to import cocaine.