Miller: CIFA’s books need open audit

| 10/06/2015 | 39 Comments

(CNS): The independent MLA for North Side has called on the sports minister to audit the books of the local football association to ensure the more than $127,000 that goes to the Cayman Islands football Association from the public purse is being used properly. However, Minister Osbourne Bodden responded that CIFA does provide financial returns for the cash and his ministry is satisfied that the funding it gives for the director of football and specific programmes is being used as intended.

Cayman News Service

Bruce Blake

Against the backdrop of the massive international FIFA scandal, Ezzard Miller said government needs to be proactive and send in the auditors to CIFA before international enforcement agencies turn up and do it. “We need to take action locally,” Miller stated.

Meanwhile, as CIFA faces the cancellation of the U15 development tournament, a blow to both the young players and the local economy, it has said its books will be revealed to stakeholders in August at its 49th Annual Congress.

“As usual, annual reports, which include annual audited financial statements will be presented to the membership in advance of the congress. After the congress the annual reports will also be provided to the Cayman Islands Ministry of Sports and to FIFA, as normal,” said Bruce Blake, CIFA’s acting president, who replaced Jeffrey Webb after his arrest last month in Switzerland in relation to the massive FIFA corruption probe.

Bodden told CNS that government provides only part of the funding CIFA receives but his ministry sees the books regarding how the cash it gives is used. The minister explained that government funds the director of football and a number of specified programmes and, as part of the purchase agreement between CIFA and CIG, they must account for how they use public cash.

However, given the entire circumstances, he expected that CIFA would be the subject of a FIFA review in any event, he said. “I believe that FIFA will audit them, but we are satisfied that government money is used for a fit and proper purpose.”

Nevertheless, he said, going forward the ministry would be taking a closer look at how it is funding CIFA and there was a need for more clarity and transparency.

CIFA executives said Tuesday that they have increased the frequency of meetings and will be updating the community on the local football initiatives more often.

Blake, however, has still not confirmed whether or not the association supported Blatter at the recent FIFA congress in the face of the racketing allegations surrounding Webb and several other FIFA officials, as well as the sports market executives embroiled in one of the largest bribery and corruption scandals the world has ever seen.

The CIFA centre of excellence and the planned pitch, which has caused some controversy, is still going ahead. Blake said in the release that work on the artificial grass field, funded by FIFA’s Goal Project Programme, was progressing.

“The subgrade work, which is being undertaken by Scotts Equipment Ltd, has commenced and should be completed within the next two weeks,” he said. “The artificial turf is scheduled to arrive on-island on 25 June and will be installed by Edel Grass, out of Holland — the contractor selected by FIFA — working with its local contractors, Island Paving Ltd. Completion of this project is scheduled for early August. We look forward to our national teams training at this facility,” Blake added.

Another upcoming event is CIFA’s annual awards ceremony, which is still going ahead on 26 June at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. The awards will celebrate local players, coaches, officials and administrators and honour members of the football community who participate in the association’s eleven leagues and programmes for both males and females in all age categories, the acting boss said.

With the cancellation of the U15 regional tournament, Blake also said the team would continue to train and that CIFA was committed to seeking an alternative tournament for that national team to play in this summer.

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Category: Crime, Government Finance, Politics

Comments (39)

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  1. Charlie Klepto says:

    Je suis……..Leggeeee!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Any degree of public trust in CIFA has been completely shattered by this scandal. The public expects and demands the truth – CIFA and Ministry of Sports have a responsibility towards those whom these bodies represent, our superb local footballers, as well as the public at large. Nothing is Impossible – dreams do come true – our footballers do not need CIFA or any other local association -this has been proven beyond any doubt – private sector sports sponsorship talent scouting always was and always will be the dreamcatcher ticket to professional sports careers. Cayman Island footballers – keep on being the best you can be for yourselves for your ability will be recognized by the right professional people at international top level leadership and dedication to the sport. Keep the dream alive – do it yourselves from within you – this is where the dream is realized. Conceive – Believe – Achieve Your Dream. “Just Do It” …………. It can and will be done if you 100% want it.

  3. WaYaSay says:

    Come on Ozzie, we are friends but this kind of stupid knee-jerk reaction, just because it is Ezzard asking the hard questions borders on idiocy.

    How can you make statements in response to a reasonable request, especially in view of the recent revelations regarding CIFA/FIFA? Statements such as “(your) ministry is satisfied that the funding it gives for the director of football and specific programmes is being used as intended”. and then follow that up with “I believe that FIFA will audit them, but we are satisfied that government money is used for a fit and proper purpose.” then go in to say “Nevertheless, going forward the ministry would be taking a closer look at how it is funding CIFA and there was a need for more clarity and transparency.”

    Mr. Miller is trying to warn your ass that if we do nothing, then someone else outside Cayman will.

    To put all your eggs in the FIFA audit basket is simply nuts, please do not embarrass me, your Caymanian school buddy and friend, any further.
    FIFA, if they come to “audit” will only be trying to cover their own asses and cover up their own screw ups. How in the world is any audit going to get around the fact that FIFA paid for the “field of bad dreams” and Government turned around and paid for it again….and now again.
    A FIFA audit, if it comes, is going to be geared to make you and Government look like an ass……not FIFA.

    How can anyone be comfortable with Bruce Blake taking over the reins from Jeff Webb. He has been there for years and I think he was the treasures at one time, as well as the Secretary General.

    I am not suggesting he took any bribes……only time will tell. What I am saying is that with his many years as part of the executive of CIFA; if he was not smart enough to suss out that somebody was getting the money……even if he got none, then you are damn sure not going to win this, by depending on him to now suddenly being smart enough to fix the problem and make sure no one else in CIFA are getting any bribes going forward.

    Bruce Blake taking over the entire organization of CIFA from Jeff Web is like Jeff Webb taking over from Jack Warner.

    You know damn well, or at least you should know, that the FIFA/CIFA constitution, like the IOC/CIOC constitution, prohibit you from demanding, under law, that either of these organizations provide annual audits to any Government, anywhere in the world.
    It is their decision, and theirs alone, that result in you getting any audited accounts at all. Your ONLY recourse is to withhold funding.
    If Governments withheld funding (several countries do) both FIFA and IOC will ensure that their National Affeliates will be adequately funded to recruit, train, and participate in their showcase events (World Cup or Olympics) as the fact that they both can boast of over 200 countries participating, is how they both demand such gigantic TV rights.
    In case you did not know, both IOC and FIFA get more money from these TV right than half of their member countries have for their entire National Budget.

    I am not trying to paint IOC with the FIFA tar brush, just trying to show you that neither need MY money to be successful.

    Wise up Ozzie, be proactive on this one and at least appear to be concerned about this CIFA mess.

  4. Anonymous says:

    To my knowledge CIFA has never been independently audited.
    CIFA has only ever done internal audits, + CIFA’s office was based at Admiral Administration for quite some time… and we all know who’s buddy was at Admiral 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    The general public votes CIFA Audit!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think that all of the organisations that get government funding should be properly audited. It’s unfair for the government to distribute money around with who they are chummy with leaving other sports with less help and money from the government. FIFA gave substantial amounts to the CIFA and yet the other sports which aren’t necessarily supported by bigger world governing monies can’t get the same or even more? We should spread the wealth so that kids can excel at more than just football. There’s tennis, swimming, basketball…so many other sports that we may be letting our children down.
    I know that swimming association is trying to build a 50m pool, yet they can’t get any funding from government. We have an amazing swim programme and some excellent swimmers coming out of this programme, but they do not get the same level of funding as football.
    Funding should be equitable and the only way that can be is if all government funded organisations are audited and made public.

  7. Anonymous says:

    As a parent of a child who plays football, it is sickening to think that the funds which were to be allocated towards the youth programs to expose kids to overseas camps and tournaments, are blown by the CIFA board without any accountability!

  8. Another Dave in Paradise says:

    Any progress on audits of government’s accounts? Funny that they are riled up over a couple hundred thousand dollars for CIFA when government cannot properly account for over a billion dollars that it has blown through.

    The level of hypocrisy is mind blowing……..

  9. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget the CIOC

  10. Anonymous says:

    Since 1998 CIFA has been receiving 250k from FIFA FAP development fund. with the exception of 2010/11 which was a relection year for Sepp Blatter. He gave each National Association One million, and 50k. 2015 which was also his relection he gave 1.3 million each to the 209 national associations. All of these funds is for the development of the game. Which the highest % is for youth football development. CIFA for many years presented a unaudited financial report to its annual Congrees. Only the last two to three years a audited financial report has been tabled at the congress. In the past CIFA as a organization which is the largest recipient of CI GOV sporting grant never presented Goverment with a audited financial report which is a condition for the allocation of these funds. We must not forget who the minister of sports was before this current minister. Just from FIFA FAP grant CIFA has collected there about 5 million dollars. This does not include the gol project which is a completely different FIFA development fund. Also all of the funds that was collected at the many fundraisers held at the Ritz Carlton. FIFA also assisted CIFA with a hurricane Ivan fund to help it ‘s members. There was promises made but was never fulfilled. If the above is not grounds for a independent audit of this organization. Then what is.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since the Cayman Islands Government paid to upgrade ALL of the football fields, including the installation of FIFA approved artificial turf, does anyone know how CIFA spent all the money they received from FIFA?

  11. Anonymous says:

    There are no gangs in Cayman. There is nothing to investigate in CIFA.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Won’t say whether they voted for Blatter = they voted for Blatter.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The problem is we are not realistic. There is no way in this world Cayman will ever produce a world cup team. we’ve got 8 teams with 20 players each. That should be the clue. The national men’s team focus should be on developing young boys by turning them into men who lead productive lives off field. My son plays as well but I am not filling his head with this nonsense of playing for Man United, Chelsea and the like. there are millions of kids having the same thought and they are in professional academies in major countries where football is a profession. Teach them how to play and respect the beautiful game for what it is, instead of unrealistic dreams of becoming a professional footballer. guide them to become career minded with football as a nice way to end the day, keep fit and perfect for stress relief and can be played into their late 40’s. I am very much involve in coaching football to young boys (no CIFA involvement whatsoever) and my primary focus is to teach the consequences of indiscipline; not that you are a good player and I need you so it’s ok, no way! if you lack discipline and don’t want to be part of the team then its either you buck up or move elsewhere. This works well and their attitude change immediately. From a competition perspective the Caribbean cup (formerly called shell cup) should be our primary objective; competing against the rest of the Caribbean. A very good Brazilian coach once said to us, football is 60% physical, 30% technical and 10% tactical and although we are amateurs we need to train, think and play like professionals. I’ll tell you with that philosophy every single player raised their level and won the league (the now premier league but called 1st division back then) and without a doubt were the best team beating the elite teams of that era. The level of monetary investment today in my opinion is not worth it and having a ‘premier league’ with a bunch of players who think playing scrimmage is actual training is pathetic. I actually played against one of these premier teams a few weeks ago in a practice match and I am in my mid 40’s and all I saw was a bunch of young boys struggling terribly against a bunch of ‘old’ men and cursing each other if a mistake was made instead of being a good team player. I wasn’t impress at all to say the least. drop the darn premier title as it is misleading and only giving unrealistic expectations of the players.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree that there needs to be an attitude adjustment with the youth and they need to understand that only hard work will produce results, however, that does not justify that CIFA blows the funds that were to be allocated to the “grassroot” programs on other things without any sort of accountability. The issue is that you have coaches such like yourself who are dedicating their time to the development of football programs and to keep kids focused, and those who have been elected by the CIFA members to run the business side of things are only available to shake hands and go on fancy trips. That nonsense must stop. If we are potentially bursting our childrens’ bubble that they will likely never be good enough to compete internationally, at the very least we should also set them an example that if you can’t be trusted and held accountable, you are not going to be in charge of allocating any funds!

      The other problem is that there are opportunities for talented players overseas. They may not be a professional club level, but as long as we don’t give the talented and dedicated players opportunities for exposure elsewhere, we are going to be stuck. Again, the problem is that those within CIFA who have connections elsewhere seem to use those only for their own benefit and anything that would require hard work from them is just ignored.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well if Ossie says the accounts of the Blatter-voting organisation that has two members under active investigation for corruption are OK then the accounts are OK.

  15. Sinbad says:

    Wasn’t there a pitch and a whole bunch of soil dropped at the pitch and then dug up and refilled? How is this value for money? The public wants to know why this waste of money and time was done and have to be redone? Where the money went for the initial work and materials? The public wants an audit check!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think Fidelity should look into the books at CIFA to make sure everything is on the up and up.

  17. Anonymous says:

    An audit of the CIFA accounts will be a waste of time. What needs to be audited are the business accounts of Mr Webb, particularly those that receive a lot of cash.Look at Jack Warner ,he paid 3 very large sums of alleged bribe money into local supermarket accounts – this is the classic way of laundering funds.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Government does not have the right to audit CIFA’s books (unfortunately). The members who voted Jeff in get a copy of the audited financials. Take a look at last years and see.

    • Garfield says:

      Yes, you are correct, but surely CIG have the right to ask where all the funds they have given to CIFA over the past ten years have been spent. A full accounting should be demanded by the Sports Minister.

    • Anonymous says:

      And CIFA does not have a right to money from the Government. If CIFA wants funding then it better throw the books open pronto.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Blatter-voting junket-monkeys.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why was the CIG giving them money anyway? As I understand CIFA was well funded by FIFA. I hope they do an audit but I’m not going to hold my breath. If there was a corrupt organisation with a pile of cash here in Cayman you can bet a few well-known individuals would have made sure they got their snouts in the trough.

    It would be fascinating to know if any of the $10m “diaspora” payment/bribe from the South African government passed through CIFA and where it went from there…

  21. Anonymous says:

    With recent revelations, surely we should all support the independent audit of CIFA. Perhaps Minister Bodden has something to hide or someone to protect?

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s what I thought as soon as I read this article, he seemed over enthusiastically eager not to audit.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an unworthy thought, 1:29. You must have been thinking of the fact that the foul mouthed “driftwood” outburst occurred as a direct result of his chief officer asking him (quite properly as part of her duties) to account for private calls he made on his government funded phone…………..

  22. Anonymous says:

    Knowing, as we do, how Webb operated, what (if anything) did the Cayman Islands promise to him?

    FIFA’s Goal Project Programme and the disproportionate amount of money directed towards the Cayman Islands field is central to the FIFA scandal and is very much a talking point around the world.

    “The Goal Programme’s methods lead to some radically unequal outcomes. Mexico, for example, has received only $1.3 million from it – less than the Cayman Islands, Seychelles, or Cape Verde.

    Top-ranked FIFA nations like Belgium, Portugal, Spain and Italy have received no funding.
    FIFA has also been less than generous with India and China, given the size of their populations and relatively limited soccer infrastructure. They’ve received $2 million and $1.8 million, respectively, since the Goal Programme began, or a fraction of a cent per person.

    Montserrat in the Caribbean, has received $1.45 million in Goal money since 1999, or about $278 for each of its 5,215 residents. The Cook Islands in the Pacific received $2.37 million, or $234 per person, followed by Anguilla, also in the Caribbean, with $1.10 million, or $69 per resident.”

  23. Anonymous says:


  24. Anonymous says:

    The coward supported Blatter. They should all be replaced as a condition of any future public funds.

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