By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The Football Federation of Belize will allow former Vice President, Rawell Pelayo, to resign rather than be expelled, FFb president of the FFB Ruperto Vicente announced on Saturday.
Vicente, speaking after the eighth regular congress of the FFB held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, said that the FFB would grant Pelayo the courtesy out of respect.
“We wanted to give him the opportunity to submit his resignation, which he has indicated he will do,” Vicente said. “Mr. Pelayo is a member of our football family, and we want to treat all our family members with respect.”
He added that it is a part of the FFB guidelines that no member being charged criminally, be it nationally or internationally, can serve on the executive of the FFB. The federation had released an agenda prior to the congress, which had Pelayo’s expulsion as one of the orders of business for the day; however that agenda was revised and the motion removed.
Pelayo was deported to Belize on Tuesday after spending almost two years in a US prison for drug-related offences. He was detained at the W. Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas, in 2013, while travelling with the Belize National Football Team to the World Cup Qualifiers.
He had been tried, found guilty and sentenced in absencia to 24 months in prison for conspiracy to facilitate the sale of 500 grams of cocaine. He was released on a plea bargain this week.