Posted: Tuesday, April 11, 2023. 2:29 pm CST.
San Pedro Pirates’ goalkeeper Sélvin Sagastume punches ball away as Verdes attacks during Pirates’ 4-2 win in San Ignacio on February 11, 2023. (Photo Credit: San Pedro Pirates)
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The San Pedro Pirates said they “are surprised and sadden” with the press release issued by their “mother bodies”, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) and Premier League of Belize (PLB), on the reason why the match against Verdes wasn’t played last Saturday, April 8, 2023.
Both organizations said the match wasn’t played because accommodation, as agreed during the week, wasn’t provided for the Belize referees who were expected to return to Belize City in the Verdes fan boat. That arrangement was ‘unprofessional’ and ‘not an option’ said both bodies but said nothing about San Pedro’s claim that they had told the PLB that they couldn’t get accommodations for the officials.
“On Wednesday our management reached out to the Premier League office explaining the situation of hosting officials in hotel. Like everyone may know, it’s a busy weekend in San Pedro and finding accommodation is an issue,” the San Pedro Pirates said.
“We had reached out to the league to express that the club was unable to get hotel accommodation for the officials. The League advised to try to get arrangement with the traveling club in that way the officials had a space on the boat after the game to get back to the mainland.”
The Pirates release said that they contacted Verdes management who agreed, so they in turn advised the PLB.
“Upon game day, like every game day, officials were picked up to learn that the official assignment was changed the night before,” the San Pedro Pirates said.
“To our worst surprise, officials traveling with their wives. As management saw this, they immediately contacted the League office asking if the officials had been notified. And the office said YES.”
Verdes’ goalkeeper Woodrow West punches ball away as San Pedro Pirates’ Andir Chi, defended by Jeromy ‘Jarro’ James (21), aims towards Verdes’ goal during Pirates’ 4-2 win in San Ignacio on February 11, 2023. (Photo Credit: San Pedro Pirates)
The San Pedro release said that their management asked the PLB for a follow up but things turned bad then when, according to their release, the Referee Assessor became upset stating that he would return to Belize City that evening as he wouldn’t travel after the game.
“It is not the first time that the Club addresses the issue of officials taking San Pedro assignments as a paid vacation job,” the San Pedro Pirates release continued.
“San Pedro is already the club with the highest traveling expense, for the Referee Department to be taking advantage.
“We hope that the FFB do an in-depth investigation without any stones unturned.”
The Pirates said they are seeking Fair Play and for the party responsible be dealt with accordingly.
“We apologize to all fans, to Verdes FC and Pirates players for all inconvenience caused,” the San Pedro Pirates press release closed.
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