Viewpoint: Shame on CIFA, shame on clubs

| 28/08/2015 | 46 Comments

Cayman News Service101 writes: There is no wording or section or set of definitions in CIFA’s constitutional documents that makes it absolutely/technically clear that Nominations and Seconds of those nominations need to be carried out by four completely separate entities for the CIFA elections on Saturday.


Any vaguely reasonable attorney who carries out an assessment independently and is simply not being paid to say what their client wants will tell you it’s open to interpretation and that it can easily and properly be interpreted that two separate entities is sufficient for a nomination to be valid.

CIFA’s position is therefore not a neat technical position to ensure they don’t ‘breach’ their constitution. It’s an intensely political one which to ensure they stay in power.

Mr Blake’s position, based on his lawyer-ridden statements to the media, shows zero respect for the general public and wider football community, which have made it abundantly clear that they want to see change.

The approach currently being taken by CIFA’s executives and Mr Paul Macey is typical of the football fraternity we see elsewhere. It’s an idea that basically admits to our face that CIFA and its clubs are the sole stakeholders in Cayman’s football. They couldn’t give a toss what parents think, what players think, what casual observers think, what sponsors think. And as we have seen over the past few days, they certainly don’t care what the government, which has been one of their key supporters since inception, thinks.

There is a lot that’s wrong with that approach and the arrogance that seems to have been adopted from FIFA’s own “we can act like a sovereign entity” governance style, but let’s focus on one particular group of culprits — the local clubs.

Many of the clubs have demonstrated that they, too, care very little about the public’s perception of football’s governing body. Many of these clubs would rather play the political exchange of favours game instead of taking a step back and examining what may be right for the sport to do at this stage, given the circumstances.

Here is an opinion/idea to consider: the only reason more clubs did not step up to nominate an alternative to Mr Bruce Blake is because the nomination process is transparent (the club name must be made public) and they feared what might happen to their ‘relationship’ with Mr Blake if he ended up winning the election after they ‘went against’ him.

For those clubs that know better, that approach is truly cowardly and shameful. For those that do not, that is extremely ignorant.

The approach taken by the clubs, who have all the power to change CIFA, is similar to many of today’s politicians: they cower and hide in the LA when it matters and abstain when it’s politically safe to do so. Ironically, it will be these same clubs that complain quietly as cowards after Saturday’s elections if there is no improvement in Cayman’s football governance, like many voters do every four years in this country.

CIFA member clubs: grow a pair and allow our sport and especially our young players a chance to develop positively.

Within CIFA itself there are also a few individuals who have stood by and watched things play out. They may not fully agree with things but they too have acted either cowardly or have just been pathetic, whimpering under the fear of the potential fallout should they take a stand. They have pretended to accept Mr Blake’s technical point, looking the other way while knowing fully that CIFA’s position is essentially a politically convenient one, failing to rely at every step on their own personal conscience. You know who you are and that too is shameful.

It is hard to understand why Paul Macey’s email telling Mr Moxam that things appear to be in order was not regarded as a formal response from CIFA, thereby making any possible rejection from Mr Blake’s crew impossible, if only on the basis that it would be highly unprofessional, unfair and undemocratic to do so after sending that email to Mr Moxam.

Neither will we know why CIFA thought it was perfectly ok to wait until after the nominations deadline to tell Mr Moxam and Ms Roulston that their nominations were invalid. If a candidate asks for confirmation that all is OK, you cannot wait until several days after the nomination deadline to get a legal opinion. You must tell him there and then before the deadline passes.

Had those nominations been accepted, it is still possible that Bruce Blake may have won the elections. But to be honest, that’s not even the point. His refusal to be reasonable (when he knows within his conscience that he had a legal basis to do that) and purported ‘technical stance’ during this entire episode has taught us is what CIFA is really about, how its arrogance essentially rules, and how pathetic many of its club members are on such important matters. It has taught us, the public, a lot and we are very unimpressed.

On Saturday morning, Mr Blake will be elected as the next ‘acting’ leader of CIFA and there will be a sole change in faces at the local governing body in football, being the appointment of Mr Armando Ebanks as treasurer to replace Mr Canover Watson.


Soon come.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting read here. You almost sound as smart as that WaYaSay guy. Maybe you should meet up and discuss thoughts for a joined viewpoint. You guys would probably find out you have a lot in common.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow you people clearly don’t have a life! LOL go outside and get some fresh air yo!

  3. Anonymous says:

    All I have to say is this is CAYMAN! No matter who is the leader PEOPLE will STILL complain! You can never please these mental people on this tiny island!

    That’s all I have to say.. This society is so mentally messed up! Yes you, and you! Ohh and you too! 🙂

    Peace out!

  4. Sharkey says:

    I think that we need to look the two, FIFA, CIFA , it looks like their constitution is the Same, their game is the same. See what Webb is into now. Why can’t we all realize what’s going on in these two separate associations and do the right and honest thing with CIFA , pull the cash until the game can be changed to football and the development of the kids.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone really give a flying **** about CIFA and FIFA! Put your efforts to things that matter. Education. Health care. Crime. The Environment. If you spent as much time worrying about those issues we could probably make some meaningful progress rather than wasting efforts on a useless sport played by adult children.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very short sighted post. Sports has a huge impact on health, crime and education..

      • Anonymous says:

        OK. They can play cricket or rugby or tennis or swim or netball or volleyball or softball or sailing or cycling or track and field all of which have the benefits of sport without necessitating association with scum.

        Northward can keep its football team. It may even get some new players.

    • sors says:

      In the large scheme of thing you may be right to say that there are many more important issues than sports and football in particular, however, football has always been the most popular sport in our island and acts as a vehicle for our young people to be active and channel the energies to an activity that in many cases has assisted them to attend college and travel to many parts of the world and grow as people.
      The alternative perhaps would not to fund any sport activity and channel the funding to HM Northward prison, the last i heard it takes around CI$56K to keep one prisoner
      per year. The funding from CIG barely cover 2 prisoners !!!!
      What option do you think is best?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think this falls under ‘crime’

  6. football fan says:

    Not all clubs are willing to stand by and do nothing. Academy Sports Club and Tigers FC were willing to do something; they nominated Renard Moxam, Sharon Roulston and Armando Ebanks in the first place. Some clubs really want change and are willing to stand alone for what is right.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Yes but it is unfortunate that more clubs are not doing more. These three individuals hopefully will be elected and bring about change as well as to investigate where the money really went which I have been harping about for months. It has taken the auditor quite some time to now tell us something we already knew. Perhaps at today’s AGM the executive committee can proffer a meaningful explanation.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least two out of those three would be no better than what you have now. Flies attracted to the honey pot.

      • Anonymous says:

        There you have gone and done it, ruined any hope of change, but then that is Cayman. Sigh!

  7. Glenn Whewell says:

    For many years now I have worked in local football and consistently heard complaint after complaint from people both within and outside the game about how the game is poorly managed by CIFA.

    I have heard and personallyvoiced positive suggestions about how the game, its development and future can be improved. These suggestions are based on observing first hand how other countries have grown and developed there youth football.The suggestions are practical, proven and work.

    Never has any suggestion been taken either seriously or simply paid lip service to by CIFA. Here is an example that was suggested at a meeting, In the US they do not allow goal difference to count in youth football. So it does not matter if you win by 1 goal or 10. Only the points count. Consequently when a strong team is clearly winning particularly if it is by 3 or 4 goals coaches put on the lesser players giving them playing time as the score does not count. such advantages are many eg lesser players get more time to play, weaker teams are encouraged to keep participating as they do not get thrashed 10-O. You get the picture.

    When this point was made at a CIFA meeting like other suggestions it was simply ignored but more importantly there was not the will to make a change.

    Youth football generally under CIFA GOVERNANCE has fundamental core values that are seriously flawed resulting in a culture that stifles youth development and integrity.

    My point is that there has not been the genuine willingness to embrace change hence we will continue to have the problems that exist now within youth football such as among others that winning is everything and secondary to player and youth development.

    Everyone in football had the OPPORTUNITY this month to either vote for change with a new administration or vote that they are happy with the current culture and values.

    CIFA has not allowed people the genuine opportunity for positive change OR the opportunity to state that they are happy with the way things are.

    In conclusion one cannot continue doing the same action over and over the same way and expect different results.

  8. Anon says:

    This is truly an excellent summary of this situation. Bruce could have simply allowed Renard to run and likely Bruce would have won. But no sir you really want to go down the hard way…

    • Anonymous says:

      but here’s the rub….its very possible that when it came down to the actual voting which is by secret ballot the cowards would then have voted to renard. I have seen that work this way for many years with local elections, people take favours and stuff from everyone and then vote for whoever in the booth. I think bruce was afraid of that happening saturday.

    • Anonymous says:

      Renard Is a joke!
      Una really fool! Ha

  9. Jack Warner Ebanks says:

    The current CIFA Executive Committee

    Bruce Blake
    Paul Macey
    Peter Campbell
    Mark Campbell
    Mark Scotland
    Martha Godet

    All need to go if Cayman is serious about reforming the sport. Any club that votes for them to continue is a major part of the problem.

    The CIFA congress should be rescheduled until the end of September. This will allow for open elections and new candidates. All current executive members must resign in the best interests of the sport and CIFA.

    The 16 clubs must demonstrate a conscience and do what is right. Stop selling out for crumbs! The gravy train days are over! Sponsors like Maples DART Progressive Distributors, Advance Automotiveshould cease financial support like the government because the entire election process has been compromised. The agendas and conflicts are there for the world to see. CIFA looks worse than FIFA right now at least Sepp accepted his fate and called for new elections.

    Make no mistake my friend the suspended president (currently under house arrest in NYC) is controlling this entire process and has held an iron grip over the sport for 25 years. The current executive committee members have no shame nor ethics they are puppets on a string.

    • thedocta says:

      Bruce works for maples and its public knowledge that they are a major sponsor of CIFA as well. I wonder how they are viewing all this. Its probably a case of them measuring the very bad pr for their community guy against knowing he can watch over the funds being spent by CIFA on their behalf. But if CIFA is dogged by perceptions that its bad why would they hang on to Bruce or CIFA? football needs their funding but they don’t need the negative press. so now what? Im thinking that Bruce man should keep his job at Maples and move on from CIFA leaving that to some new people. he can always do some other community work.

    • Anonymous says:

      How many of these folk give a Tinker’s Toss about Football/Soccer? When have you ever seen them supporting grass roots football?

    • Anonymous says:

      CIFA is a hobby not a real job. You guys needs to educated yourselves. Yes the people that volunteer to be apart of this federation has real careers outside their HOBBIES!! DUH

      • Cass says:

        12:10 – ignorance at its best. “You guys needs to educated yourselves” Good grief, go back to kindergarten! “DUH” What are you 5 years old? Or do you just have the literacy rate of a 5 year old!

  10. Anonymous says:

    “He has proposed hiring a public relations and marketing specialist to aggressively pursue funding and believes there are untapped funds available from FIFA to support the game.” This is from the VP of an association where the president was the president of the regional confederation and a VP of FIFA, it is only now he “believes” there are untapped funds available? What do they do for 20 years?

    Bruce Blake also claims he would like to see opportunities for players, I wonder if he can name any players in the last 15 years he or CIFA has assisted in pursing any of these opportunities?

  11. Energy 2 Waste says:

    How can this type of thing occur in a micro-country (whose entire resident population could easily fit in a stadium) with a Minister of Sports, a whole Ministry under him and millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars doled out on sports over the past 25 years?

    It’s not just football and CIFA folks.

    It’s about wasting public money and government resources and having so little to show for it.

    • Rudy armadillo says:

      It is not just about football but also the inherent corruption that is contained in seemingly every aspect of Cayman,

  12. Anonymous says:

    so….current state of affairs:

    1. CIFA treasurer (yes treasurer)of CIFA arrested for corruption re Care Pay
    2. CIFA Exec member minister for health when Care Pay contract awarded
    3. CIFA president arrested for different and hugely public corruption charge – causing immense reputational damage to the country
    4. CIFA Manager arrested for DUI and causing death by dangerous driving
    5. Most high profile sporting event that Cayman would have hosted is cancelled
    6. Millions poured into CIFA Centre of Excellence which is still not functional
    7. Very suspect contracts awarded in regards to the Centre of Excellence
    8. Government pulls national funding due to suspect election procedure and general lack of transparency

    How long is this list going to get??

    And Mr Blake feels that private sector is going to step in? Private sector would be crazy to go anywhere near the organisation right now.

    When are the CIFA members going to grow a pair and do something about this?

    • Chris Johnson says:

      You summed it up pretty well which some of us have been going on about for over a month. Finally the interest of the public has taken place. From almost all responses to CNS say that Blake and his cronies must go. The real problem is that the clubs themselves are part of the culture of cronyism that has been taking place.
      It is quite incredible that Blake, who has not been known to play the game, can waive two fingers at the Government and say go fick yourself. All other associations worldwide have Government backing. CIFA needs it but under new management.

      To the clubs I say before you vote, check out the accounts. $2.7m in land and a building less than 2000 square feet. But FIFA gave $1.7m as well. Go read the numbers and figure it out. Visit the field and see where your money went. Not in this project I can assure you. Then visit the FIFA website to see who got the contracts.

      Time to flush the Aegean Stables.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, Chris, but as I have pointed out to you before since you like this reference, it is AUGEAN not AEGEAN stables. Yes, I know I need to get out more but a Classics training does that for you.

        • Chris Johnson says:

          Thank you for your spell bounding advize.

        • Anonymous says:

          Since the Augean stables were located in Greece, they can quite rightly be called Aegean stables; and I learned all about the classics and mythology from comic books!

    • football fan says:

      Academy Sports Club and Tigers FC did something, they nominated Renard Moxam, Sharon Roulston and Armando Ebanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can someone name the players in the construction of CIFA Centre of Ecellence? It would be interesting to know the connection with the EXECUTIVES.

      • sors says:

        According to the information published by FIFA online the projects other than the actual pitch itself were awarded to: Economy Builder and Black Holding Ltd/Roy Campbell & Sons Constr. Ltd. Follow the trail…….

  13. Anon says:

    Well said.

  14. Ninja says:

    An incredible and insightful viewpoint that sums it all up 101. If blakeys life depended on it he could easily have allowed the nominations without any breaches. But alas it was not in his self interest to do so. I would bet that a review of CIFA’s handling of finances would find dozens of breaches of its so called constitution and procedures. It looks like some of these clubs also need a change in leadership!

  15. Ninja says:

    The way Blake has behaved is indeed shamefully political. Excellent point 101.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well said.

    One way the club leaders could grow a pair is by boycotting the congress tomorrow.

    Can but hope.

    • Anonymous says:

      they won’t boycott it. they really don’t care. they need some new club presidents also who understand the bigger picture here.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You could not be any more correct, shameful on the part of CIFA member clubs, how can this be possible, they are willing to stand by without bringing CIFA to account, they must remember that the president of CIFA is under house arrest in NYC and the “little” perks some of the member of the clubs use to get are not coming back, or are you thinking that
    Bruce Blake may rise to become president of CONCACAF?, wake up is not happening!!!
    History is giving the clubs the opportunity to make a difference, especially with our young players who want the chance to develop as footballer and as young men and women, do
    not allow the last 15 years to come around again, some of those young players may be you own sons/daughters or grand children, think about that.

    I attend many games around the island and I speak with many of the clubs representatives and not once do you hear any positive remarks in the way the local football is managed, most would like to see a change in direction, how it is possible that everyone is so afraid?

    Armando should also re-think his position, I know he is one who also wants change.

    • Anonymous says:

      25 years of a football culture that is deeply rooted in a mentality of opportunism, leadership for life and unaccountability will not be overcome or corrected in the replacement of one or two position by people who is also a part of the current administration of football locally. Why are the current people who are aspiring to become CIFA executives and highlighting all that is wrong with CIFA became a intricate part of CIFA with a very lofty lucrative position. Did they not know or suspect what CIFA was all about before they accepted their current position within CIFA. We all know if Jeff didn’t get in the problems he now faces those individuals that was employed by him would not be saying and revealing what CIFA is all about. If they were so concerned about how football is run locally why did they not refused the position they now hold and campaign like what they are now doing to get support from the clubs, public and media to change the current CIFA executives. Moreso when you don’t have a history for the last twenty years of making any major contribution to the game at any level locally. Yes I do agree change for the betterment of the game is needed but with people whose motives are not motivated by the downfall of another especially the same person that hired you for the same position you now hold in CIFA. Let’s see if Bruce has it in him to slowly break from how CIFA operated in the past. We the public have to understand that whether we agree or not the way it looks now Bruce will be heading football locally until Jeff be vindicated or when the position for president of CIFA is up for election in 2017. What we the public, media and Minister of Sports need to do is along with the clubs keep the current CIFA executive under the microscope just like what is happening now. Because to liberate football in cayman the public needs to be educated and informed so they can hold those in charge accountable because it’s our children who love and play this game,coaches, parents, and the many volunteers who should be the sole beneficiaries of this beautiful game.

  18. Cass says:

    Well said. Thank you.

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