(WFI) A total of 16 Caribbean Football Union members are the sport’s latest officials to fall under investigation by the increasingly busy FIFA Ethics Committee.
A day after the governing body banned former CONCACAF vice president Lisle Austin of Barbados but told INSIDER the Ethics Committee had not yet opened corruption cases against any CFU officials, FIFA did exactly that.
“The FIFA Ethics Committee has today opened ethics proceedings against 16 Caribbean Football Union officials in regard to apparent violations of the Code of Ethics connected to the investigation of the cases related to the special meeting of the CFU held in Trinidad & Tobago on 10 and 11 May 2011,” FIFA said late Thursday in a statement.
“It is important to note that the investigations are still ongoing, and that it is therefore possible that further proceedings could be opened in the future.”
David Hinds and Mark Bob Forde of Barbados, Franka Pickering and Aubrey Liburd of British Virgin Islands, David Frederick of Cayman Islands, Osiris Guzman and Felix Ledesma of Dominican Republic, Colin Klass and Noel Adonis of Guyana, Yves Jean-Bart of Haiti, Anthony Johnson of St. Kitts and Nevis, Patrick Mathurin of St. Lucia, Joseph Delves and Ian Hypolite of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Richard Groden of Trinidad and Tobago and Hillaren Frederick US Virgin Islands are the CFU members now caught up in FIFA’s worst-ever crisis.
All 16 could be sanctioned for taking $40,000 cash bungs from banned Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam as well as former CONCACAF chief, CFU president and FIFA vice president Jack Warner when the pair tried to buy their votes in the Qatari’s quest to unseat Sepp Blatter in the FIFA presidential race.
Colin Klass of Guyana has, in fact, already been provisionally suspended from all football-related activity by Ethics Committee chairman Claudio Sulser (Switzerland), who cited “consideration of the specific information received on this matter” as his reasoning.
Ethics Committee member Judge Robert T. Torres will head the investigation with the help of Freeh Group International Europe as well as the secretariat of the Ethics Committee.
The next step is for FIFA to contact the 16 officials for interviews in order to hear their side of the story.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson
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