Controversial turf finished on new CIFA pitch

| 21/09/2015 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service

CIFA pitch during construction

(CNS): The acting president of the beleaguered local football association, CIFA, said Monday that the turfing project on the new pitch at the HQ in Prospect is finished. Bruce Blake said the goals and corner flags are scheduled to be set up Monday and Tuesday and a grand opening will take place later this month. The project, funded by FIFA, has been one of numerous controversies surrounding local football management since the former CIFA and CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb, was arrested in Switzerland.

Webb was arrested in Zurich last May along with several other FIFA officials caught up in the US racketeering probe, which alleges massive bribery and corruption by the game’s administrators for over 20 years.

Controversies have mounted locally too.

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Accusations about mismanagement and accounting irregularities, resignations and the controversial refusal to accept nomination for the executive committee elections have dominated the headlines,as well as hints over yet to be revealed scandals connected to the turfing project and the construction of the new offices.

Government, which donated the land for the centre of excellence, has stopped its annual funding of $127,000 to CIFA until it addresses some of the concerns that have been raised. Sports minister Osbourne Bodden said there would be no more financial support from government until some questions are answered and the management cleans house.

The training pitch, which is located at the CIFA HQ, and the centre of excellence has run into a number of problems and questions have also been raised about how the project was funded and contracted.

Following revelations about irregularities relating to the audit of the association’s books and the fact that these have been reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission, there has been no further updates on the situation relating to CIFA’s accounts (see below).

In the wake of the mounting controversies, in particular over the accounts, Bruce Blake resigned from his day job at Maples and Calder, but the offshore law firm said it was still going to fund the CIFA grassroots programme.

CNS sent a number of questions to Maples two weeks ago regarding their continued sponsorship in light of questions over how money is being spent and managed by CIFA but although the firm has acknowledged receipt, we are still awaiting a response.

2013-2014 CIFA Financial Statements

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Category: Community, Local News

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Astro-turf Football? Obviously Blake never kicked a ball in his life. Speaking of kicking …

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe he did. However, he is not now and I do not believe he has someone, boy or girl who might anytime soon, so he does not care about any potential injures or other consequences. Remember CIFA does not provide any type of insurance to any players so everyone is at his/her own risk. Good position to be in for Blake!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Will Jeff come down to cut the ribbon?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The most expensive piece if artificial grass ever laid…

    • Anonymous says:

      Next come the $600 toilet seats and $5000 chairs.

      • Anonymous says:

        I do not think so. Expensive toilets and chairs may be found in the private residence to go along with the CI shaped pool, however, for the good of the game and those who play, no way. The last 25 years should serve us as a very good riminder. Equipment for player, no way. Small traveling stipend, no way. A properly planned national teams programme where player can look forward in playing and representing their countr on a regular basis, too costly, no way. Etc,etc.

  4. Fred the Piemaker says:

    Everyone is so negative. Lets focus on the positive. Mr Webb has a swimming pool SHAPED LIKE GRAND CAYMAN! Cant say better than that – man is a true patriot, and I am sure if only it were a little closer he would let Cayman youth use it.

  5. Ron says:

    What a joke! You gonna have us standing under the coconut trees when watching the games in de sun and rain? Any concession stands? The government certainly wasted their donations. Where is the value for money? An independent audit is necessary and a must. if not for the tax payers, do it for the children of this country.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Facilities may be in short supply, but I hear there will be washing machines and dryers so everyone can bring their dirty laundry.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love it, “grassroots programme” sans grass and roots. The BS keeps spewing from every CIFA orifice.

  8. Knot S Smart says:

    Are we sure the FIFA investigators wont seize this turf?…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Turf, really? More like AstroTurf. This is not something to brag about. Where did all the money go? Did it go the numpty landscape contractor(s) who couldn’t grow real grass and what were thier connections to CIFA officials?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s referred to as an ‘all-weather surface’ or some similar term. They tried laying real turf but the swamp this is all built on just swallowed it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Rugby club was built on swamp

        • Anonymous says:

          LOL, 12:05! Good point so I’ll re-phrase that comment to – Allegedly they tried laying real turf but the swamp this is all built on just swallowed it. They are also supposed to have built a complete training campus with classrooms and dormitories (Webb told me this himself in 2007) ready for use in 2009.

        • Anonymous says:

          Don’t you get? No one cares about Rugby, the few that do care are participating. It is not and will never compare to football in popularity. Hence it doesn’t have the kind of money or world power that also attracts corruption.

          • Anonymous says:

            @ 7:23 Check out the Rugby World Cup website and run that past me again. Rugby has all the same public appeal (personally I’d say a lot more) but without the graft and corruption that has taken over international soccer.

          • Anonymous says:

            Maybe it is the personalities involved that do not attract corruption.

        • Anonymous says:

          For any years rugby volunteers raked and cleared stones and planted grass….without govt. handouts.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yep, totally agree with the statement regarding the lack bathrooms, seating etc. and also will only be a matter of time until the local hooligans have torn the place up.

    Will also be interesting to see which teams/clubs will actually get to use it.

  11. gray matter says:

    Grand Opening, not thats a joke, the writer above said it all ” no shade , seating , changing rooms, lighting”.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Amazing what can be done when the Feds light a fire under your ass.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Oh well, after 13 years and about $2 million of funding from Fifa, and the CI gov, about another $1 million of loans turned sponsorship, the GOAL project PITCH is completed, there is not a sign of shade anywhere for fans or family, no sign dressing rooms for players to change after games or practice, no lights, etc, etc. This in a country where the president of the association was a personal friend of J Warner and his successor as the president Concacaf. CI is probably the last of the Caribbean to accomplished this feat!
    Shame on all of whom who support this charade.

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