The football field at the Football Federation of Belize compound in Belmopan is getting a facelift in time for the opening of the champions’ league next week. The season opens on Tuesday and according to FFB President, Ruperto Vicente, the field will be finished by Monday.
Vicente explained that the FFB must get its stadium prepared in time for champions’ league and this year’s champions, the Belmopan Bandits, will participate in the games.
Champions’ league, according to Vicente, has its own requirements: including FIFA-certified lighting, an internationally-accepted field, and basic accommodation amenities.
Vicente said that the investment in the FFB stadium comprised of funds that FIFA had approved for upgrading other fields across the country, but there was a sense of urgency to have the FFB field ready for international football. He explained that the fields in the other districts will be built when FIFA approves more funds for the FFB.
On Thursday when The Reporter visited the field, the grass had been planted and preparations were already in place to have it rolled and cut.
The upgrade also includes the installation of internationally approved lighting, worth over $600,000, and the construction of shower stalls, urinals and air-conditioned locker rooms, and a full set of bleachers.
Next in line for the FFB is the selection of a coach for its National team, who Vicente says will receive payment under their past agreement for the World Cup eliminations.
He said the balance of $2,000 will be paid to each player by July 15. Vicente says that the FFB has already commissioned a coach from Mexico for that role. Once the national team has been put together, t the FFB will focus on the under-15 female National team, which will play in the Cayman Islands in August.
Aside from these, the under-20 male football team is presently in camp training to prepare for the Central American Under-20 tournament in Salvador in July.