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Caribbean officials head to Zurich to face FIFA Ethics Committee

Exclusive:

Monday, 10 October 2011

By Andrew Warshaw

The FIFA bribery investigation reaches another significant milestone today when 15 Caribbean officials face an Ethics Committee hearing into their involvement in the biggest scandal in the organisation’s history.

Four members of FIFA’s Ethics Committee – chairman Claudio Sulser (pictured), Robert Torres, José Pedro Damiani and Les Murray – will hear allegations that the 15 either took money or obstructed the inquiry that led to the life ban of former Asian football supremo Mohamed Bin Hammam and the resignation of senior FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.

Already, a 16th Caribbean Football Union (CFU) member, Colin Klass, President of the Guyana Football Association, has been banned for 26 months and FIFA have set aside five days for the bulk hearing into the roles played by the rest of the Caribbean officials who were present at the infamous Trinidad meeting in May when the bribes were allegedly paid.

Last week, Chuck Blazer, the man who blew the whistle on the scandal involving bundles of $40,000 (£26,000/€30,000) in cash, announced he was stepping down as general secretary of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) on December 31.

He admitted that his reason was partly prompted by the ongoing scandal.

insideworldfootball has learned that only a handful of the 15 CFU members charged will actually appear in Zurich.

The majority of cases will be conducted by long-distance phone calls.

Testimony by phone is acceptable in such proceedings with everything recorded and minuted.

It was not immediately known which CFU officials were attending and which have stayed away.

Those being investigated are David Hinds and Mark Bob Forde from Barbados, Franka Pickering and Aubrey Liburd from the British Virgin Islands, David Frederick from the Cayman Islands, Osiris Guzman and Felix Ledesma from the Dominican Republic, Noel Adonis from Guyana, Yves Jean-Bart from Haiti, Anthony Johnson from St Kitts and Nevis, Patrick Mathurin from St Lucia, Joseph Delves and Ian Hypolite from St Vincent and the Grenadines, Richard Groden from Trinidad and Tobago and Hillaren Frederick from the US Virgin Islands.

Many of those concerned are understood to be colleagues of Warner, one-time head of CONCACAF and the man who is said to have facilitated Bin Hammam’s meeting with the CFU, designed to give the then President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) a platform to outline his manifesto to take on Sepp Blatter for the FIFA Presidency.

As soon as the bribery case was referred to FIFA, Bin Hammam pulled out of the Presidential race and is still appealing his life ban.

Contact the writer of this story at andrew.warshasw@insideworldfootball.biz

 

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Exclusive:

Monday, 10 October 2011

By Andrew Warshaw

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The FIFA bribery investigation reaches another significant milestone today when 15 Caribbean officials face an Ethics Committee hearing into their involvement in the biggest scandal in the organisation’s history.

Four members of FIFA’s Ethics Committee – chairman Claudio Sulser (pictured), Robert Torres, José Pedro Damiani and Les Murray – will hear allegations that the 15 either took money or obstructed the inquiry that led to the life ban of former Asian football supremo Mohamed Bin Hammam and the resignation of senior FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.

Already, a 16th Caribbean Football Union (CFU) member, Colin Klass, President of the Guyana Football Association, has been banned for 26 months and FIFA have set aside five days for the bulk hearing into the roles played by the rest of the Caribbean officials who were present at the infamous Trinidad meeting in May when the bribes were allegedly paid.

Last week, Chuck Blazer, the man who blew the whistle on the scandal involving bundles of $40,000 (£26,000/€30,000) in cash, announced he was stepping down as general secretary of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) on December 31.

He admitted that his reason was partly prompted by the ongoing scandal.

insideworldfootball has learned that only a handful of the 15 CFU members charged will actually appear in Zurich.

The majority of cases will be conducted by long-distance phone calls.

Testimony by phone is acceptable in such proceedings with everything recorded and minuted.

It was not immediately known which CFU officials were attending and which have stayed away.

Those being investigated are David Hinds and Mark Bob Forde from Barbados, Franka Pickering and Aubrey Liburd from the British Virgin Islands, David Frederick from the Cayman Islands, Osiris Guzman and Felix Ledesma from the Dominican Republic, Noel Adonis from Guyana, Yves Jean-Bart from Haiti, Anthony Johnson from St Kitts and Nevis, Patrick Mathurin from St Lucia, Joseph Delves and Ian Hypolite from St Vincent and the Grenadines, Richard Groden from Trinidad and Tobago and Hillaren Frederick from the US Virgin Islands.

Many of those concerned are understood to be colleagues of Warner, one-time head of CONCACAF and the man who is said to have facilitated Bin Hammam’s meeting with the CFU, designed to give the then President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) a platform to outline his manifesto to take on Sepp Blatter for the FIFA Presidency.

As soon as the bribery case was referred to FIFA, Bin Hammam pulled out of the Presidential race and is still appealing his life ban.

Contact the writer of this story at andrew.warshasw@insideworldfootball.biz