Posted: Tuesday, April 11, 2023. 2:09 pm CST.
San Pedro Pirates’ Horace Avila fires against Verdes’ goalkeeper Woodrow West during Pirates’ 4-2 win in San Ignacio on February 11, 2023. (Photo Credit: San Pedro Pirates)
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) said it is investigating why the Premier League of Belize’s (PLB) San Pedro Pirates versus Verdes match wasn’t played last Saturday, April 8, in San Pedro.
According to a press release issued late on Saturday night by the Football Federation of Belize on March 30,2023, a week prior to Saturday’s game, referees were assigned for all PLB matches for Week 12. The FFB said that it was agreed that all officials would be housed in a safe environment while officiating in San Pedro. However, the FFB said, when the referees arrived only the referee from Corozal had accommodations contrary to the previous agreement.
“It is reported that the referees from Belize City were expected to return on the boat with various fans; which was considered extremely risky and unprofessional,” the FFB said echoing the words in the PLB press release.
“The referees had no choice but to return on the last boat out from San Pedro this evening (Saturday) as there were no accommodations in place and returning on the Verdes’ fan boat was not an option.
“The FBI is taking this matter seriously and will be investigating the incident further. A formal statement will be released informing the public of the steps that will be taken to address this unfortunate occurrence.”
San Pedro Pirates’ Andir Chi (blue) works his way between Verdes’ Norman Anderson (3) and Camilo Márquez Fajardo (right) during Pirates’ 4-2 win in San Ignacio on February 11, 2023. (Photo Credit: San Pedro Pirates)
The FBI said it remains committed to providing a secure environment for all officials, players and fans involved in matches the governing football body sanctions.
“We apologize for any inconvenience caused and appreciate the support of our fans and stakeholders in our efforts to maintain the highest standards of professionalism in Belizean football.”
However, today Tuesday, April 11, the FFB nor the PLB have issued any result of their investigations.
PLB sources said referees’ accommodations for PLB matches are the responsibility of the host team.
The San Pedro Pirates, who were hosting Verdes, have also issued a press release in which they criticize both the PLB and the FFB for their press releases saying they do not tell the whole story.
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