FIFA suspend Belize FA over government interference

FIFAWorld football’s governing body, FIFA, announced Friday that it had suspended the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) with immediate effect because of "severe governmental interference".

The suspension means that the return leg of the qualifying tie for the 2014 World Cup, due to be played in Belize on June 19 between the home team and Montserrat, has been postponed.

The first game, played in Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) on June 15, was won 5-2 by Belize.

FIFA said the decision followed the Belize government’s informing the FFB on June 8 that it was "not authorized to represent this country in any local or international competition or in any other forum for football on behalf of the Government, People and Nation of Belize".

The Belize government, FIFA continued, said the federation had "failed to meet the requirements for registration with the Council, as the National body for the administration of football in Belize".

FIFA gave the FFB until June 30 to settle the dispute but the Belize government wrote to FIFA on June 16 saying the Belize police would "not be providing any services to the Federation with respect to the security of the visiting team and officials at the match" to be played on June 19.

"Under these circumstances, and due to the interference of the government of Belize, FIFA cannot take the responsibility of letting the match take place," FIFA said.

"The match has therefore been postponed to a new date to be confirmed, but no later than July 10, 2011, provided that the situation is back to normal regarding the FFB and the suspension has been lifted by that date.

"In the event that the match cannot take place by that date, the national "A" team of Belize will be excluded from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil preliminary competition.

"The suspension will be in place until the Belize government reverses its decision. Any action taken by the government against the office-bearers of the FFB will not be recognised by FIFA."

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