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Latrell Middleton disputes FFB reasons for his dismissal from the Belize Men’s National Team 

Posted: Friday, November 17, 2023. 6:53 pm CST.

Latrell Middleton – Photo Courtesy: Latrell Middleton

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Port Layola midfielder Latrell Middleton said things are not how the Football Federation of Belize paints them in their press release detailing the reasons why he was dismissed from the Belize Men’s National Team (BMNT).

The FFB said in a press release issued on Friday that Middleton was being released from his duties with the BMNT for not wanting to travel to Grenada for Tuesday’s match against St Vincent and the Grenadines for personal reasons, not wanting to undergo a proper medical assessment after claiming he was injured and needed two weeks rest, for refusing a subsequent medical assessment with a certified musculoskeletal doctor specialized in sports injuries like three other players, and for refusing to attend a meeting with BMNT Manager Ian Jones and Head Coach David Pérez.

“I was shocked to see them post that about me and make me look like the bad person, which I wasn’t,” Middleton said.

Middleton said that he told BMNT Manager Ian Jones that he couldn’t travel with the Belize Men’s National Team to Grenada to face St Vincent and the Grenadines because he has to attend the funeral of his cousin Kiman Garcia, the Coast Guard officer who died in a boating accident, on Saturday, the same day that the BMNT is to travel to Grenada. Middleton said that when he told BMNT Manager Ian Jones, Jones told him that if he did so, he would be cut from the National Team.

“I explained to Mr Ian that I had a death in the family and the death is so close, it really hurts and I’m still mourning. I explained to them that I couldn’t travel because I have to bury my little cousin. If the death weren’t so close, then I could travel,” Middleton said.

“He told me that if I go to the funeral I would get cut,” Middleton said, explaining that he expected a sympathetic response not an ultimatum.

Port Layola midfielder Latrell Middleton (left) with teammate Gilroy ‘Bredda’ Thurton – Photo Credit: Jessie Jerome Martinez/Facebook

Regarding the ‘minor collision’ that the FBI claims happened to him on Wednesday morning in a friendly match against Verdes, Middleton said the collision with Darrel Myvett of Verdes was not minor and proof of it is that had to be helped out of the field because he couldn’t continue playing.

“Everybody saw me when they had to back me out of the field, so they knew I was injured but the only thing they did was put ice on my foot and they said that during the course of the day Mr Aba, the rubman, would be coming to see me but he never did until the night,” Middleton said.

“I told him not to do anything because I was in pain, and I asked him to look at it the following day and I asked him for a pill because I was in a lot of pain.

“They didn’t look out for me that day until the next day. I told them that I wouldn’t be able to play, and they were trying to force me to play like that and I didn’t like that,” Middleton said.

Middleton added that it wasn’t until Thursday that he was offered medical assistance. Regarding, his not wanting to go for the medical assessment by a certified musculoskeletal doctor specialized in sports injuries, he said that the four players were being taken in a pickup and two of them, including him, had to ride in the ‘pan’ of the pickup while there was a van that they could have been used.

“On Thursday when they wanted us to go for the medical checkup, they got a pickup to go and I think that wasn’t right for us, National Team players who are injured to go in a pickup,” Middleton explained.

“We were four and they had someone [from the office] in the front, so all of us couldn’t fit, so we had to go in the back, and they had a van that they could have used.”

As to his not attending a photo shoot, he says that that is not true. He said he went when he was sent a message but left because of the unprofessional way it was being done.

Middleton says he is dismayed at the way that he was treated at a Football Federation of Belize.

“I didn’t like how Mr Ian talked to us and how he dealt with us ‘in a certain type a way. The man talk to we bad and den thing deh’,” Middleton said.

As to the meeting that he supposedly didn’t attend with Jones and Coach David Pérez, he said that they didn’t talk to him.

“That is false because they didn’t come to me because if they did come to have the meeting with me, I was going to attend because I’m man enough to hold a decent conversation,” Middleton said.

Middleton has been performing at a high level with Porta Layola over the last two seasons which earned him his callup to the BMNT. Hopefully, things get worked out and he gets another opportunity down the road.

 

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