CIFA executives facing shake-up

| 11/02/2016 | 66 Comments
Cayman News Service

Bruce Blake, Acting CIFA President

(CNS): The vice president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, Peter Campbell, will be questioned by the executive regarding his possible involvement in the misuse of money that belonged to CIFA, according to Acting President Bruce Blake. He said that CIFA was holding off on major changes to its statutes until after the FIFA Congress in Switzerland, when football’s governing body will convey the changes it wants to see at the national level. But changes are coming, he said.

The entire local executive is now tainted by the fallout from former president Jeffrey Webb’s downfall amid the massive FIFA corruption scandal and the revelations during Conover Watson’s trial for corruption — but so far, no other heads have rolled.

Blake, who has been accused of stubbornly holding onto the leadership against the backdrop of mounting financial scandals, said that Campbell’s position with the association was in question. However, Blake and the rest of the executive remain in place and will take part in the upcoming elections for the new FIFA and CONCACAF presidents.

In just a few days Blake and CIFA Treasure Armando Ebanks will be heading to Switzerland for the 2016 FIFA extraordinary Congress, which will be held in Zürich on 26 February, where they will be voting in elections for new leaders for both bodies and taking part in discussions about cleaning up the game.

Blake told CNS that there would soon be elections for various CIFA executive posts, including that of president, which he has been holding since Webb’s removal. Other CIFA positions that need filling are that of general secretary, which has been vacant since Paul Macey resigned last autumn, and deputy secretary.

He said the position of the current VP, Peter Campbell, was “under discussion”, suggesting that he may be required to step down as investigations are underway into some questionable transfers.

This relates to $250,000 given to Campbell’s company, Black Holdings Ltd, by CIFA for the development of the Centre of Excellence, which appeared to end up in Jeffery Webb’s personal US account via AIS Cayman Ltd, the company owned by Webb and Watson that won the corrupt CarePay contract with the hospital. That money appears to have been used to help Webb buy his mansion in Atlanta, Georgia.

When Blake spoke with CNS this week, he denied any knowledge of the questionable transfers of money floating between CIFA and companies associated with Watson and Webb, as well as that of Black Holdings.

Blake has held onto the leadership of the organisation, despite controversies surrounding last year’s elections, and insists his interest and commitment is the future of local football. The former Maples and Calder lawyer left his lucrative position with the leading offshore law firm last year to “concentrate on football”. If he is not returned as the leader of the organisation after the upcoming elections, then whoever gets the job will have to work hard, he said.

“This is not an organisation where executives can swan in and out. They have to work at it,” he said. “Whoever becomes president must understand everyone has to work.”

After the FIFA Congress later this month, the governing body’s reforms will be replicated at the CIFA level, he said, explaining that the local association has held off making any major changes because they are waiting to see what will be required. He said that all members of CIFA will have a chance to offer input regarding the international summit and, once all of the candidates have declared, get a say in who CIFA should support in the elections for the FIFA and CONCACAF presidents.

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Comments (66)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CIFA is broke?
    OK then..govt can take their golden HQ and pitch (its on govt land anyways) and hand it all over to the prospect school adjacent.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Not a clever suggestion. How do the creditors get paid, one of whom is owed over $100,000. Think about it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Government will soon begin to increase taxes to pay for needed infrastructure because of continued development that is not self-funding.

    The general public complains about the cost of living and the business community says that the high cost of doing business contributes greatly to the high cost of living.

    Corruption in reality adds about 30% to the cost of living and the cost of doing business.

    After the exposure of corruption after corruption in the Cayman Islands, in both the private and public sectors, it is past time for the general public, the business community and the business organizations, led by the now very vocal Chamber of Commerce, to go to the streets demanding that the Governor / PPM Government take action on the following:

    1. Implement the Standards in Public Life Law, passed unanimously by ALL MLA’s years ago.

    2. Enact / implement a very strong Whistleblower Law.

    3. Enact / implement a very strong Charities Law.

    4. Immediately appoint a successor Auditor General.

    5. Anti-Corruption Commission: Reestablish the membership and give them the resources, including finance, to execute the intended function of this very important crime fighting entity.

    6. Stop violating General Orders, that limit “Acting” appointments to one year, by immediately appointing both the successor Complaints Commissioner and the Freedom of Information Commissioner.

    7. Election Law Reform: After “One Person, One Vote”, continue with the Election Law Reform discussed for many years. This must include full accountability / transparency / reporting of ALL POLITICAL DONATIONS.

    Very, very few of our MLA’s and political candidates support the above issues, they pay lip service to democracy and fighting crime. These anticorruption measures are only the beginning to improve our quality of life in our Beloved Cayman Islands.

    • Sharkey says:

      The politicians would not do anything about implementing these suggestions, because those are the things that would cure corruption in the Cayman, and we would not want that cured because the politicians are the treatment and cure.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Someone from CIFA is suspected of misusing their money and instead of reporting it to the police Bruce Blake decides that an in-house inquiry is the way to go.

    It looks like it is going to take quite some time before CIFA members realise that the laws of the land apply to them. At least Jeff and Canover are starting to understand.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good to see the big clean up going on at the “Centre for Excellence”. Truckloads of unsightly mounds of rich dark topsoil are getting hauled away every Sunday by hard working volunteers.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bwahaha..its ok coach bruce. A frown is just a smile upside down

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well I understand Mr Blake issue about work, I am sure the international transfer deadlines really keep CIFA staff so busy that they are not able to deal with our local game. Watching the local sport news on tv today they reported that the BT team walked off the pitch before the end of the President Cup game. They contacted CIFA for comments, however, 48hours after the game, CIFA has no comments. Maybe the cover up workload is too heavy at the moment. No credibility.

  7. question says:

    Why is Bruce being so stubborn? Maybe he was not involved in any of this crap and is the only one who is actually clean. Stand firm Bruce if you know you are innocent then don’t give in.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Blake is a fully qualified accountant and as he has access to the books he has been ideally placed to investigate all transactions done by CiFA for the past twenty years or more. If he does this he can then show to the public that he was not involved in the fraud. He can thus clear his name. So please tell me why he has not done that small exercise. At that stage the auditors could have confirmed that he Was not complicit in the fraud.

      Meanwhile the Executive Committee need to give us some accounts for 2015 which will support Blake’s pronouncement that CIFA has no money. Of course that means CIFA is insolvent and cannot pay its debts. Of additional interest is that unknown to the public CIFA still owes over $100,000 to a supplier from five years ago.

      It is time for the clubs to step in and fire the people they appointed to run football in the Cayman Islands. Their inaction is hampering our youth to play what is the most popular sport in the Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree Chris. Many of the clubs are complicit too, perhaps not taking cash but by benefittiing in other ways, such as sending completely inappropriate, under-qualified, undeserving and useless people on FIFA-paid and CONCACAF-paid courses and functions (to attend nothing, to learn nothing, to do nothing except get a free holiday) and events overseas, to ensure the powers-that-be in Cayman remain in power. While Cayman football remains entrenched in graft, there will be no hope for anyone to secure honest football at home. Everyone’s out to “get whats mine”. Including one of the new presidential hopefuls. And while Bruce stays in place without transparency over transactions, we can only assume the worst.

      • Anonymous says:

        Chris, fully qualified does not necessarily means fully competent or transparent! We now have JW, CW guilty of criminal charges and Peter and Mark Campbell being openly questioned for their involvement in deals in the embezzlement of football funds or the ill conceived Carepay deal. Four members of the exco and the member clubs do nothing? It appears as they are there for the ride also.

      • Anonymous says:

        But Chris, that would involve a tremendous amount of self-review when faith in the Exec has already gone. Surely the professional option for Bruce was to invite independent accountants, not connect to CIFA or the auditors, to examine the books top to bottom and report back.

      • Kevin says:

        Not so aure its a good idea for you to actively clear yourself. Seems it would be more prudent to bring in a third party with no connections to do that.

        Seems like opening the books up without restrictions would have sent a very clear message to everyone that his hands are clean and that corruption would have no where to hide.

        • Chris Johnson says:

          You and the previous anonymous writer are both correct in an ideal world. This is hardly an ideal world. CIFA has no money and therefore any investigator would be paid by Blake himself. That is hardly independent.
          The point I was trying to make is that if Blake is innocent he should investigate as to what happened himself. At that stage he can report to the executive committee to take any further action. ( yes I know that they are suspect as well.) They must go through the proper procedures.
          The good news is that it appears that the top soil that was dug out has been sold. I hope that this is being closely monitored as we all know what happens to loads of marl and how quickly it disappears.
          As an aside clubs have access to the CIFA books. I find it odd that no club has called for the books. As some clubs must have football playing members who are accountants why do they do take some positive action?

          • Kevin says:

            I just believe clearing your own name is semi-risky because you could tamper with evidence or worst yet corrupt the evidence. That could leave you seemingly guilty even if innocent.

            The best is always a third party such as the anti-corruption unit although FIFA would not want that. They would want in-house.

            • Chris Johnson says:

              I do not wish to argue but if I was an innocent director which presumably Blake is I would do my own investigation as to what the others suspects have done if I had no cash and wished to prove my innocence. Since he has all the records and talks to FIFA he is virtually the only person who can do an investigation unless CIFA appoints an external investigator. Even then it is highly unlikely FIFA would respond to that investigator unless properly appointed.
              There is a catch twenty two here. The clubs do nothing , Blake rules XXXXXX. The government are in no position to do anything but have to date taken the correct approach by withdrawing funding.
              But above all you must remember Blake in this jurisdiction is innocent until proven guilty XXXXXXX. As to the Executive Committee most are clearly tainted, XXXXXX and don’t want an investigation.
              Perhaps you have a constructive idea to bring this matter to an end. If so please share it with us.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Jamaican and UDP makes him amply qualified for CIFA executive post.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is that the same Peter Campbell that got mixed up in the dump tender and tried to bring a bizarre law suit against the government despite being no more than a middle man on the deal? He sounds like FIFA executive material.

    • Anonymous says:

      What happen to Bruce Blake house that was bought when Jeff and Canova bought theirs. Ohm strange there are no news on that. Something for Cns to report back on.

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean the financial crime unit should be dealing with all this can’t believe they haven’t done so yet

  10. Anonymous says:

    What is the collective noun for Blatter-voting junket monkeys?

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Whoever becomes president must understand everyone has to work”. Oh goodness yes, we can only imagine how hard it must be. When you get to your hotel in Switzerland Brucie make sure you tell everyone how CIFA have managed to spend millions and achieve the quite astonishing feat of having the Cayman Islands rise to the 196th country in the world. Let me ask this; if CIFA executives suddenly stopped all their ‘hard work’, how on earth would anybody be able to tell? If you did absolutely nothing it’s hard to imagine we could possibly get any lower than 196th.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:40am he is not only arrogant but out of touch with the reality that it was and still is all of the football clubs and especially those with youth programs who kept and keeps the game alive with some of those clubs operating on a shoe string budget. These are the true hard workers of football in Cayman and even more so when the past president and treasurer raped and plundered the game locally for at least the last fifteen years.

  12. Anonymous says:

    You really have time to reply to that flipping joker ?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Bruce is only trying to find a scapegoat. He will be singing it wasn’t me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Both of them flying to Switzerland to attend the FIFA election. More money that should be spent on the kids wasted by self absorbed adults on a junket.

    Is it possible to FOI the costs for this trip? Probably outfit the entire junior teams for what they are going to waste.

  15. Anonymous says:

    peter campbell?…who would have thought it?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Why would anyone quit a ‘lucrative’ position with Maples and Calder to run CIFA? That doesn’t make any more sense than the rest of this mess.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The full CIFA exec need to resign now

  18. Anonymous says:

    I am predicting that the next big surprise for Bruce is to find out that it really didn’t cost $1.9 million to build the rinky dink CIFA headquarters.

    • batman says:

      Just another day in the wacky private sector. Some people have the nerve to complain about the public sector.

      • Anon says:

        Batman- You can’t be serious… Did you miss the HSA disaster with Canover? The issue isn’t the private sector it is corrupt Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the $1.9m must have been budgeted to include the non-existent changing facilities which no doubt someone just forgot to build.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      The planning application shows $168,000 for the 1525 square foot building but the audited financial statements show $750,000. That is a large amount. Presumably Blake can explain the difference. The remainder of the pitch and drive way seems to have cost over $4m which includes the FIFA grants although some of this sent to Webb. Blake being both an accountant and a lawyer can explain this also. Maybe the auditors can explain it as well. Finally where are the accounts for 2015? Over to you BB.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Poor Bruce, always a step behind and unaware of what s going on around the CIFA office. What about the reports of Mark Campbell plans to set up a pharmacy together with Jeff Webb and Canover Watson under the Carepay deal, which was fraud.

  20. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of time money and energy Invest in your schools not some sport chasing a ball how many children in Cayman will ever earn $ playing any sport get your priorities straight. Learn to read and do math before you learn to chase a ball

    • Anonymous says:

      Missing the S from maths, Yank.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are correct to a certain extend. The way we prepare our young boys and girls it is highly unlikely any one of them will ever make it into big time professional football, however, that is not the only objective, sports in general and football in particular can be used a vehicle of having a healthier more united society. Also, many kids in Cayman, including my own have had the opportunity to go abroad to college to study based on the fact that they can get scholarships through football. So this conversation here and the interest in football is NOT a waste of time or money, even if you do not like the sport.

      • Anonymous says:

        Many schools require a high GPA to play sports not the other way around. Sports may get you the ride but you must be able to do the academic work or you fail out of school and are off the team

        • Anonymous says:

          You are correct. It forces the students to keep up with the academics to play the game, and they do. What is wrong with that?

    • Anonymous says:

      What arrogance by Mr. Blake. He is the only person capable of hard work?. Speaking of work, can Mr. Blake inform us what work has Mr. P Campbell ever done for football? I have been around football for over 30 years, played, coached in the league and school leagues, assisted for years with the youngster and I do not recall ever seem P Campbell anywhere near where work was going on. I have seem him in his nice expensive suit whenever FIFA, CONCACAF had events in Cayman.

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