Caribbean to come under FIFA microscope

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Some Caribbean football administrators could find themselves under FIFA’s scrutiny shortly, after the world governing body said yesterday it would continue to probe the meeting in Trinidad and Tobago that triggered the cash-for-vote scandal.

In slapping a life ban on former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam, FIFA’s ethics committee revealed it had asked general secretary Jerome Valcke to initiate a further investigation into the controversial meeting held in May.

“From the evidence disclosed in the investigation and the hearings, the ethics committee decided to ask the secretary general to request a further investigation into the conduct of others who attended the meeting of May 10 and 11 in Trinidad and whose conduct justifies further investigation,” said Petrus Damaseb, the acting ethics committee chairman.

Jerome Valcke
Jack Warner

“The evidence before us showed that they are other people who need to explain certain things about what took place and that must be further investigated. We (ethics committee) do not have the competence to initiate and to pursue investigations, that’s within the executive agencies of FIFA.”

At this meeting, Bin Hammam and former FIFA vice-president Trinidadian Jack Warner were both accused of offering US$40 000 cash bribes to member countries of the Caribbean Football Union in exchange for their votes at the June 1 FIFA presidential elections.
Both were suspended pending an investigation into the allegations but Warner tendered a shock resignation from FIFA last month and as a result, had all charges against him dropped.

Bin Hammam, a Qatari construction magnate who headed the Asian confederation, was on Saturday found guilty following a two-day hearing in Zurich.

During the investigation headed by former FBI chief Louis Freeh into the corruption allegations, several CFU members refused to cooperate and claimed they had not been offered any monies. CFU, the governing body for Caribbean football, comprises 25 members.
Warner, a government minister in Trinidad, also quit as head of CFU and CONCACAF, the continental governing body for football in North, Central America and the Caribbean.

His departure plunged CONCACAF into internal fighting with the acting president Barbadian Lisle Austin subsequently banned from the post because of an apparent infringement of FIFA’s statues.

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