Blake joins executive in regional football union

| 26/07/2016 | 23 Comments
Cayman News Service

Bruce Blake

(CNS): The vice president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, Bruce Blake, has secured a seat on the executive committee of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) after elections in Miami this weekend. Blake, who has yet to fully explain what has gone on with the CIFA accounts, was heading up the organisation when the sports minister pulled government’s cash contribution over the corruption concerns in the wake of the conviction of Jeff Webb for fraud in the US and the revelations in the CarePay trial about irregularities with CIFA money.

Blake gave up his position as an attorney with Maples and Calder and became acting CIFA president after Webb, who was CONCACAF president and FIFA VP at the time, was arrested in Zürich in May 2015. But Blake failed to secure the top job locally when Lee Ramoon was elected as CIFA president in May this year.

However, questions continue regarding Blake’s suitability to hold senior positions in regional football given his central role in local football at a time when financial irregularities within CIFA, CFU, CONCACAF and the FIFA were exposed. And with remaining uncertainties about how much he knew of what Webb and Canover Watson were doing with the association’s cash, Blake has now entered another administrative football arena tainted by corruption scandals.

During the CFU elections on Saturday, Gordon Derrick from Antigua and Barbuda was re-elected president for a second term, but he is currently at the centre of a financial scandal of his own. CONCACAF auditors have found a secret bank account registered in Antigua, into which monthly funding of $45,000 for the CFU to run its affairs from CONCACAF has been deposited instead of in the organisation’s official account in Jamaica.

Derrick was already facing allegations of corruption and had been barred from running for the CONCACAF presidency in April by the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee after he failed an integrity check.

According to a release from CFU, alongside Derrick other executive members elected Saturday were: Cheney Joseph (Grenada) First Vice President; Rignaal Francisca (Curacao) Second Vice President; Lyndon Cooper (St. Lucia) Third Vice President; Richard Dijkhoff (Aruba) Fourth Vice President; and Randolph Harris (Barbados), Eric Labrador (Puerto Rico), Bruce Blake (Cayman Islands), and Jeaninne Wong Loi Sing (Bonaire) Executive Committee Members.

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Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    my children will never play football with CIFA again i will not let them mix with criminals its very sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do not punish your kids, football is a wonderful game that can be enjoyed by everyone including you children. What we need to do is to encourage the CIFA member clubs to have some ba!!s and replace the current CIFA EXCO.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Laughable – and did he really “leave” Maples of his own accord, or was he given an option he couldn’t refuse?

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is almost as bad as Mark Scotland becoming a civil servant again at the NRA given his role in CIFA and the Heath Minister during Canover/Webb’s theft! WOW … tangled WEBB!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Chris Johnson has found and published strong prima facie evidence of fraud at CIFA so why isn’t there an investigation? Why aren’t the police involved or the financial crimes unit? They must have a mountain of SARs from the banks, law firms (looking at you Maples), accountants and other professionals that were involved with CIFA. It’s been dragged out into the open for all to see and yet the people who have the power (and a duty) to do something about it seem to be turning a blind eye.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      My investigation is a double edged sword. Whilst CIFA may be able to sue those responsible for the missing monies it may be that both FIFA and the CIG have a claim against CIFA who filed misleading audited financial statements.

      One further concern is the Statute of Limitations which is only six years if fraud cannot be proved. The current Executive Committee may find themselves in a further spot of bother if they take no action. I strongly suggest that they appoint a first class law firm to advise them in making some sensible decisions, ones that have alluded them in the past.

    • Pele says:

      Chris has obviously spent a lot of his time on this. Why are the clubs not using his knowledge to help CIFA recover the money. Lee can you explain? I can only assume they also are tainted or at least their directors. What a shame for Cayman youth.

  5. Anonymous says:

    and the beat goes on…..and the beat goes on…..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well, what can anyone do? The CFU is a disgraceful organization just like CIFA. To re-elect the current president who is under investigation from CONCACAF simply tells you the characters running these organizations. Shameful.Lee Ramoon should be be very careful.
    All you had to do was to be at the TBSC last Sunday to see where the priorities are for the football administrators, nice suits and arrogance.
    However, how much support did the U17 boys received from CIFA to prepare for the games? According to the coach TV interview, not much. The boys did well, they played their hearts out, unfortunately, the game was completely mismanaged from the sidelines.
    It is a pity or simply CIFA does not care that these young players, like many before continue to play under coaching staff that it is not capable of assisting them to improve.
    Last Sunday, when under pressure on the field and calm was required, two coaches were red carded just when the players needed someone to help them see the game through.
    A great opportunity lost.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What responsible bank would ever open an account for CONCACAF and the CFU two organisations publicly infamous for being riddled with corruption. I can only assume they have found regional banks of the same ilk.

  8. Anonymous says:

    That says a lot about the Caribbean Football Union

  9. Anonymous says:

    Too many chiefs if you ask me, Why do you need 1st 2Nd 3rd & 4th VP’s . This is just a get rich quick scheme and no one can clean it up or if they say they will they will be bought of /out soon. I have no faith in these organizations at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      When Numero Uno gets arrested then everyone moves up one notch. At their current crime rate they really need VPs all the way down to 10th.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are correct. However, whoever becomes numero uno behaves worst than the previous numero uno. Jack Warner was like mother Teresa compered to Jebb Webb and when Alfredo Hawitt took over from JW he did not missed a bit. Lets hope is not the same at CIFA, however do not hold hopes very high, after all Bruce Blake without answering any questions locally is moving “up”.

  10. Chris Johnson says:

    It is over a year since Jeffrey Webb was arrested in Zurich and several months since Canover Watson was accommodated at her majesty’s pleasure. It is nine months since I wrote a Viewpoint entitled Vincit Omnia Veritas on my investigation of CIFA. What has taken place? NOTHING.

    A new President of CIFA was elected and the old gang remained firmly entrenched. We have been informed that FIFA are assisting in an investigation of the missing funds. That is putting the fox in the henhouse. Besides this is not a complex ponzi scheme, it is mere theft.

    For months a Compliance and Audit committee has been promised with no results. Why I ask has such committee made up of independent members not been formed. Several accountants have offered to assist and without charge .Misappropriated monies need to be recovered and invested back into football.

    Meanwhile Blake having been aware of the misdoings under his regime seeks glory by sitting on yet another football committee rather than assisting to recover the stolen monies. As both an accountant and a lawyer he is hardly an advertisement for either profession.

    Is it Groundhog Day?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Bruce Blake signed up to break bread with another set of football criminals? Say it ain’t so.

  12. Anonymous says:

    These guys. They have cajones yes?

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