Four more Caribbean officials banned for football corruption

BERNE, (Reuters) – Four Caribbean soccer officials  have been banned, including Jamaica Football Federation  president Horace Burrell, for their part in a cash-for-votes  scandal in the run-up to this year’s FIFA presidential election.
Two other officials were reprimanded and fined by FIFA’s  ethics committee, one was reprimanded and another five were  given warnings, FIFA said in a statement on Friday.
The longest ban from all football-related activity, 18  months, was handed to Franka Pickering, president of the British  Virgin Islands FA, who was also fined 500 Swiss francs ($560).

Horace Burrell
Horace Burrell

The cases are related to a meeting in Port of Spain,  Trinidad and Tobago on May 10 and 11 where it was alleged that  FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam handed out bribes  to Caribbean members of CONCACAF — the regional body for soccer  in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Former Asian soccer chief Bin Hammam has since been banned  for life by FIFA but has protested his innocence along with  ex-CONCACAF president Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago.
Warner, like Bin Hammam a FIFA executive committee member  when the scandal blew up, was also under investigation by FIFA  for allegedly offering bribes but resigned before the probe was  completed.
Bin Hammam withdrew his candidacy before the presidential  vote, allowing Sepp Blatter to be re-elected for a fourth  successive term as head of soccer’s world governing body.
Several Caribbean officials described receiving brown  envelopes containing $40,000 in cash at the meeting.
Burrell, a long-time Warner ally, has been banned for six  months, three of which have been suspended for a probationary  period of two years.

PROBATIONARY PERIOD
Osiris Guzman, president of the Dominican Republic FA, and  Ian Hypolite, general secretary of the St Vincent and the  Grenadines FA, were suspended for 30 days, 15 of which were  suspended for a probationary period of six months.
They were also fined 300 Swiss francs each by the ethics  committee, headed by former Switzerland international Claudio  Sulser.
Aubrey Liburd (British Virgin Islands) and Hillaren  Frederick, president of the U.S. Virgin Islands FA, were  reprimanded and fined 300 Swiss francs each while Anthony  Johnson, president of the St Kitts and Nevis FA, was  reprimanded.
David Hinds and Mark Bob Forde (both Barbados), Richard  Groden (Trinidad & Tobago), Yves Jean-Bart (president of the  Haiti FA) and Horace Reid (Jamaica) were warned.
Jean-Bart was injured in last year’s earthquake in Haiti and  subsequently gave a lengthy interview to CNN describing the  destruction.
Felix Ledesma (Dominican Republic) was considered not to  have committed any violation.
The cases of David Frederick (Cayman Islands) and Joseph  Delves (president of the St. Vincent and Grenadines FA) were  closed since they are no longer football officials.
“Should they return to football official positions, their  cases would be examined again by the Ethics Committee,” FIFA  said.
Last month, FIFA handed a 26-month ban to Colin Klass,  president of the Guyana FA, for his involvement in the Caribbean  Football Union meeting in May.
The decisions came one week before a FIFA executive  committee meeting where Blatter is expected to give a progress  report on the fight against corruption which has rocked soccer’s  governing body in the last year.

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