CIFA digs in over rejection of challengers

| 25/08/2015 | 45 Comments
Cayman News Service

Bruce Blake, Acting CIFA President

(CNS): The local football body is standing by its decision to reject the nominations of two possible challengers to the entrenched executive committee at the annual general meeting and elections this weekend. Despite significant concerns about CIFA against the backdrop of the current FIFA scandals and investigations around the world, including the catalogue of charges against the former president, Jeffrey Webb, concerns from the sports minister and the indications to the challengers that their nominations were in order, the current management is digging in its heels.

Although shown at the very least a yellow card by Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden, a statement released by CIFA Monday said there was “no lawful basis upon which CIFA may depart” from its Articles of Association, claiming the nominations of Renard Moxam and Sharon Roulstone were defective. “Much comment has been made regarding a need to change the leadership of CIFA,” the statement from the current management stated. “There is a perfectly open election process in CIFA’s Articles.”

The association said the process and articles were approved by Cabinet at the time CIFA was granted “not for profit” status under Section 80 of the Companies Law.

“If the CIFA membership feel change is required, it is of course open to the members to effect that change by nominating new officers. It does not require, and is inappropriate, to seek to enlist public opinion and government intervention, particularly in an organisation subject to other international obligations, which include remaining politically neutral,” the club stated, as it attempted to compare the rejection of the challenger nominations to spoilt ballots at an election.

Sticking to its position in the face of that adverse public opinion, the minister’s concerns and the laws of natural justice after the nominations were at first accepted, CIFA also complained that it had not been given a chance to put its side of the story before the media reported on the issue.

“Regrettably neither CIFA nor its attorney have been given an opportunity to put CIFA’s views prior to these articles being published in the Caymanian Compass on August 18th and 21st, 2015 and Cayman News Service on August 20, 2015. The purpose of this statement is to put the relevant facts before the public so that the statements in the media can be read against an accurate factual background,” the statement released Monday 24 August said.

However, this is not entirely true.

CNS approached Bruce Blake, the acting CIFA president, on 18 August at Owen Roberts International Airport before running the story on 20 August about the minister’s concerns over the rejection of any challengers to the long-standing committee. We asked him if he was comfortable about the position CIFA was taking and whether he would be happy under the circumstances being re-elected. But Blake refused to comment, stating that he was at the airport to greet the U15 national squad and he did not want to talk about the election. He said he did not think he would want to comment until the following week – rejecting the opportunity to put the CIFA side.

In the statement released Monday, CIFA described its interpretation of the nomination process and claimed the nominations of both Moxam nor Rousltone did not comply. CIFA admitted that they were accepted by the acting general secretary before the deadline in an email, which stated, “It would appear that the requirements of the nomination process have been met.” Nevertheless, the nominations were later found “to be irregular”.

CIFA said the Executive Committee decided Moxam’s and Roulstone’s nominations did not comply and, following a legal opinion, the challengers were informed their nominations were defective one week after their submission. CIFA then received an email on 18 August from Minister Bodden, stating he was “taken back by the pronouncements” when FIFA, and by extension CIFA, “is under fire and scrutiny”.

Bodden said it might not be wise for CIFA to “be making it difficult for an entrenched administration to be challenged and possibly changed” rather than welcoming new contenders to demonstrate that CIFA has nothing to hide.

“If this stance continues, it will be detrimental to the efforts of CIFA and myself as Minister, and the Government, will have to no doubt rethink the support it offers to the organization as it stands. I trust that you all will have a rethink on this and I will hear and see a different approach being taken before next week’s AGM,” Bodden wrote.

However CIFA has chosen to ignore the warning and reject the nominations, leaving the current administration to re-elect itself unchallenged this coming weekend, as it insisted it was bound by its Articles of Association.

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Comments (45)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CIFA – where’s the health insurance, player scholarships, gear&boots for players – etc?
    And why do u charge admission for Cayman’s stadiums that you did not build or maintain?
    Why 8 years and about $2million for a non-existent field in Prospect (with no parking)?
    CIG – PLEASSE revoke their “not for profit” status asap!
    Neil for CIFA President, I’d say…not Renard!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I believe Canover Watson was a former treasurer of CIFA assisted by India Webb (Jeff Webb’s sister) and the official CIFA office at this time was located at Admiral Administration on Mary Street. Good luck to anyone wanting to find out what happened to their CIFA donations during this time period! …. “a whole lot of shredding going on” 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love all these comments. Now could the public extend their anger to corruption elsewhere? It is you that have the power to stop them….they wont stop themselves.

  4. Haranguer says:

    You’re not going to get those boys off that gravy train easily. No way baby.

  5. Anonymous says:

    CIFA said the Executive Committee decided Moxam’s and Roulstone’s nominations did not comply and, following a legal opinion, the challengers were informed their nominations were defective one week after their submission.

    Has it been determined whether the articles require 2 nominees, as the nominees claim they were told, or 4 nominees, as CIFA claimed in rejecting the nominees? Or whether CIFA withheld that information from the nominees until it was too late rather than inform them as soon as possible to allow them to come into compliance? There should be evidence for both of these, at this point CIFA looks bad enough that they really need to convince people they’re following the rules, not manipulating them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Me thinks some is pulling some puppet strings

  7. Anonymous says:

    The leadership of most of the clubs are just as bad as the CIFA leadership – making self serving decisions based on dodgy ‘promises’ made by the CIFA exec and their cronies. Only a few are prepared to push for change – those that actually care about football, sport and youth development. Sad times indeed.

  8. caymanaindonkey says:

    Stop the funding from the Ministry of Sports ASAP.
    I’m not but CIFA must have laws and the members can vote a no confidence of these executive committee members, voting them out.

    I would personally if still playing, insist that my team not play and push for other teams not to play this season until the board resigns, if the above doesn’t work.

    There seems to be some sort of hiding going on here.

  9. caymanainbusiness says:

    Very simple CIFA, my compnay will no longer sponsor any football team, if all us companies do this, there will be no leagues or teams and the members will insist on change.
    These guys on the board have enjoyed themselves the last several years travelling around the world and getting VIP tickets to the best football events.

    Oh and for the first time great job PPM, No government funding…..

  10. Anonymous says:

    There have got to be some residual shenanigans going on at CIFA that certain people are trying to hold on so desperately! On behalf of the country, please Govt, step in call for all the books and records of this association. The old guard needs to go!!!

  11. Bruce McDonald says:

    If CIFA is subject to other international obligations, which include ‘remaining politically neutral’ the best thing might be to make them stick to that regulation and have the CIG make sure they do not contribute or support CIFA financially or in any other manner under any umbrella! Bottom line – no money from CIG or it’s ministries or it’s agencies.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “The Cayman Islands is steeped in corruption.” …be it football or politics.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Disgraceful stance from CIFA, after “accepting” the nomination and holding the documents for more than five days to find ” irregularities” in the process after the closing hour of the dateline, shameful.
    Come on member clubs, have some courage and boycott this mockery of elections, remember you have an OBLIGATION to your members, especially your players whom are being used by this bunch.
    Schiolars, GTSC, Roma FC, Elite FC, etc, 20 years is not enough???

  14. Anonymous says:

    Holding a position at CIFA under the previous regime should be considered an immediate disqualification.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Problem is that CIFA is all about power and not about the sport. I say clean house and stop paying these individuals and lets see how many would want the position then.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Blatter-voting junket junkies.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I nominate Mr. Bruce Sigswoth for CIFA President!

    • Anonymous says:

      For those of us who don’t know, who is Bruce Sigsworth and why did the post about him get thumbs up, down and LOLs?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Please, let this not be something that just slides again and in two weeks is old news! We need to ensure change happens and people don’t just make up their own laws and/or regulations as they go. In the long run, it is the children of the youth programs who are suffering if this greedy and power hungry administration continues and it will reflect negatively on the whole country. It would also be very interesting to see whether anyone locally still has any conversations with Webb regarding CIFA and if so, perhaps that needs to be brought to the attention of the US authorities……..

    • Say No Corruption 2017 says:

      I have already informed both C.I. and U.S. authorities of 2, which still continues to do their dirt.

  19. Ronald-Inio says:

    CAYMAN ISLANDS Football Association. Cayman should vote. How or why do these guys have so much power? RCIPS get them out. Politicians get them out!

  20. Anonymous says:

    If they let new people in, those people will have access to the books and records of the last few years. They DO NOT want that to happen.

    • The best way to keep things hidden is to let the same “old eyes” keep seeing it. Conversely, the best way to “uncover” hidden things is to let “new eyes” see it..
      But what a dilemma to be in…kmt.

      • Chris Johnson says:

        Well said George. The feedback on all the articles in the media shows that the public want a drastic change. The executive committee needs respect the publics view. However above all the voting members being the clubs are the only people who can bring about these changes. The players themselves must turn to their leaders to ensure that they are properly represented in the forthcoming voting process. We must allow no more corruption. There is an abundance of local talent to replace the incum bent committee. Let them stand. We are not interested in an over abundance of assenine paperwork created to precluded Honourable persons from standing.

        I have now just heard the announcement by Ozzie which quite rightly puts Blake et al back in their box. Well done the CIG.

        Perhaps at the CIFA meeting this week they can release some audited accounts and we can find out where all the money went. Looking at the Field of Broken Dreams in Newlands does not impress me. FIFA made monies to start the project in November 2002 and what does CIFA have to show, 13 years later? Even Houdini might have a problem escaping that question. Incidentally most sporting clubs build their playing surfaces prior to an HQ. The flags look good though.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mark Scotland For President !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Anonympus says:

    CIFA executive is pathic everyone needs to go.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Webb is still the CIFA president if Bruce Blake is in charge. #NOTHINGCHANGES

    • Mohamed Bin Hamman jr. says:

      Doesn’t Bruce Blake have a house near to Jeff in ATL? I wonder what other side business interests they have together besides CIFA?

    • Anonymous says:

      How Jeff set up CIFA constitution he was to be the leader for life. Minister Ozzie and everyone else who genuinely want to see CIFA under different leadership have to convince the majority of clubs to vote out the current administrators. But that is easier said than done because of the prevailing culture of opportunism and patronage that Jeff has cultivated amongst the local football fraternity . Look at the current CIFA executive. All members of local clubs who have been eating the scraps off Jeff football table for many years. Why the Minister of sport don’t meet with the clubs and find the best solution to this football conflict. Withdrawing financial support is one thing but as it stands right now that will never change this current CIFA administration not the way the constitution is setup. Only the majority of the Clubs can make that change happen. Minister Ozzie why don’t you hold a meeting with all the clubs that makeup CIFA and only then you will be able to find out why no one can get the majority of clubs to vote out this current CIFA administration.

  24. Soca Warrior says:

    The CIFA Executive board need to go after years of neglecting local football and squandering funds. Mr. Blake is a stooge for Jeff Webb always has been and always will be. The level of corruption within CIFA is disgusting. Nothing will change and the reputation of the Cayman Islands will continue to suffer until there is a change from top to bottom at CIFA.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Will the members do the right thing and abstain from voting?

  26. Anonymous says:

    His account still has a large negative balance, but at least Ozzie has finally made one good deposit.

  27. Knot S Smart says:

    I Want Power!!!
    I Want Power!!!
    I Want Power!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      How is change possible when majority of the club associated with CIFA have nominated the present leadership.

      • Anonymous says:

        2:38 You just summed up the state of affairs of who holds the key for change in football locally. At both the administration and playing level. The Teams that make up the governing body for football locally. As it stands right now there is not one person who has the influence and he or she have their own administration team can get the majority of member clubs to call a extra ordinary Congress after Aug 29th Congress to vote out the current CIFA administration.
        It’s fruitless to just say CIFA have to go but how do we accomplish it. The above is just one suggestion of how CIFA admin can be changed.

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