Posted: Monday, January 30, 2023. 7:56 pm CST.
Photo Credit: Ek’ Balam
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize is to host the 5th Pok Ta Pok World Cup in December 2023.
The Association of Maya Ball Games and the National Sports Council (NSC) announced earlier that Belize will host the regional Mayan Ball Game World Cup at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex from December 7-10. The official opening ceremonies will be at 10:00 am on December 8.
Fourteen teams from seven countries, namely Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, the United States, and Belize. For the first time, three women’s teams from Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala will compete in their category.
The Mayan Ball Games Association first announced that Belize would host the tournament after Belize’s Ek’ Balam team won their third consecutive Pok Ta Pok World Cup in Merida, Mexico, in December 2021. The regional Association of Ancestral Maya Ball Sports gave Belize the go-ahead to host the 2023 Pok Ta Pok World Cup at the time.
The Association of Ancestral Maya Ball Sports led by President José Manrique Esquivel is composed of delegates from Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. Ek’ Balam Belize’s manager Felicita Cantun and coach Menalio Novelo Sr are Belize’s delegates.
At the time, Novelo said that they couldn’t have made the decision without the support of the Government. National Sports Council Deputy Director Marvin Ottley said at the press conference held last week that the NSC is fully on board with providing the facilities and financial support to the Mayan Ball Games Association of Belize.
Cantun said that she is hopeful that the business community will support the Mayan Ball Games Association which needs sponsorship to be able to carry through with the commitment.
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