CIFA hires outside auditors to look at books

| 22/06/2017 | 30 Comments

(CNS): The beleaguered local football association has contracted independent auditors to review its past financial records and complete the outstanding audits from the last three years. The Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) is still reeling from the impact of the convictions of its former president, Jeffrey Webb, who was embroiled in the global FIFA corruption scandal, and its former treasurer, Canover Watson, in the local hospital CarePay fraud case. 

Questions about CIFA’s accounts began following Webb’s arrest in the international FIFA probe over two years ago. But they mounted following the Watson case, in which Webb has also been charged, where it became clear that both men were misusing and manipulating CIFA accounts and funds as part of their criminal financial activities.

Who else, if anyone, at CIFA was aware of what was going on and exactly what happened when has never been addressed.

As a result of question marks surrounding the “financial irregularities” within the local association, which were exposed by previous auditors, the former sports minister, Osbourne Bodden, withdrew government funding for CIFA until these were addressed.

In a statement released this week, the current CIFA president, Lee Ramoon, said that accounting firm Grant Thornton had been appointed as CIFA’s independent auditor, following a competitive tender process overseen by the CIFA Executive Committee and approved by FIFA

“I would like to thank Grant Thornton for their high professional standards demonstrated, and we look forward to working with them to complete the forensic and financial statements audits of CIFA and to provide our membership and other stakeholders with a complete accounting of all funds received by CIFA over the years,” Ramoon said.

He told CNS that the organisation has not yet spoken with the new sports minister, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, about the public funding but was hoping to do so very soon.

There is no doubt that the missing $120,000 per year of public cash has had an impact on CIFA and local football but the association has consistently denied any wrongdoing among other officials. However, it has been slow to demonstrate that it has nothing to hide or to address the ongoing questions about the misuse of funds.

While the appointment of independent auditors is a step in the right direction, CIFA still has some way to go before it will regain public trust

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Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Trying to slip away two yrs later

  2. Anonymous says:

    LOL. I just love the irony and satire when I hear that companies hire their OWN Independent Auditors

  3. Rp says:

    So they engaged another auditor as the previous auditor would not even issue an opinion and reported the suspicious activity to authorities?

    How would GT come to a different conclusion? They will get paid for time spent and at most they will issue an adverse opinion which is worthless.

    Sounds like a great deal for GT. Make some money and have no risk.

  4. Ronaldo says:

    I thought the last auditor found discrepancies and did not sign off the financials? Can someone please tell me what has changed? Wouldn’t the descrepencies still be there? Who is paying for this audit?

  5. Sharkey says:

    Losing trust is. I don’t know if everyone else is like me.
    After losing that with me you can forget it.
    I think that instead of doing an audit, they should do a disband of the Association and re-organize do back ground checks on everyone and audits yearly. Then when you come up completely clean you might get a little trust. Then you would be reminded every day,


    But I think that new Sports Minister should feel the same way I do.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good luck GT, you’re going to need it. Wouldn’t have touched this with a barge pole.

  7. Concerned citizen says:

    This is very late to say the least, where have these people been? nonetheless the right thing to do!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Simply put, too little too late. Football is dead, the present administration, many of whom have been there for years and under
    Jeff Webb must go. It is the only solution.

    About a year ago the the present administration prevented Renard Moxam to run for the president position and did not present financial statements at the time. They are in office illegally. They are only fronting for Jeff Webb.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s already been more than two years since Webb was arrested. Wonder what they’ve been doing all that time? Getting everything ready for auditors perhaps?

  10. JTB says:

    My firm received a letter from CIFA asking for donations. The idea that we might pay them a cent while ANYONE from the Webb days is still involved in ANY capacity is deluded.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Too late now. The money is gone. Our CHILDREN lost out because of these greedy men.

    Seriously who the hell steals from children?

    • Chris. Johnson says:

      I am pleased to see that a major and reputable accounting firm has been appointed to investigate this matter, one which I have investigated since the day Webb was arrested.
      I report as follows:

      1. Three local audit firms overlooked the fraud that took place which my firm identified within a few days. At least two can be held accountable;

      2. Monies sent by FIFA for CIFA projects went to local contractors not CIFA;

      3. A 1500 square foot office building cost CI$750,000. Work out the numbers yourself;

      4. The original land filler is still owed $100,000;

      5. The cost of land in the accounts does not represent the true cost;

      6. The financial statements since 2003 are total hogwash;

      7. Neither FIFA nor the government had any idea what was truly taking place.

      8. Comprehensive investigations need to be made of all directors over the past 15 years with a view to recovering monies for gross negligence;

      9. The current board should be fired, lock, stock and barrel;

      As a former footballer with Scotia in the early seventies I have a personal interest in looking at CIFA and hence the many hours of investigation. Armed with my knowledge I met with Lee Ramoon and offered the services of my firm which would include that of another firm. Those services were pro bono, or in other words free. Neither my colleague ever heard back from Ramoon. Obviously we know too much.

      Having said all of that my firm will most certainly support the new appointee and any investigation by the anti corruption squad.

      It is wrong it has taken so much time to commence such an investigation and ironic that some of the very people asking for it are ones that were involved in the problems. If I was a lawyer and qualified accountant sitting on the board I would be looking at my insurance policy right now!

      • roger Davies says:

        I applaud all that Chris Johnson has said, nobody is in a better position to comment on this sad tale of historic corruption.Not only was Chris a managing Partner of one of our leading accountancy firms for many years, but he also played for several years in the Scotia team and I still have the Official Programme of the 1971 Challenge Cup Final between Scotia and Byrite with “C.Johnson” listed in the Scotia team. In those days the local football league was organised by Len Cohen, an expatriate and at least until he left we had a sport untainted by the problems of recent years.

      • Just saying says:

        Correction Land Filler owned over $150,000

      • Chris Johnson says:

        II forgot to mention before..Where did the huge mound of top soil go after the grass pitch was replaced by the artificial turf. It was on the ground for several months and one day disappeared. At $30/40 a yard that is quite a lot of money. Someone knows where it went!

      • Well said Chris and heres hoping that something will come to light before too long.Surprised that Lee Ramoon did not get back to you with such a special price (zero)for helping to clear up this mess.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman’s own Jeff Webb, that’s who!

      • Anonymous says:

        And his posie too….Jeff wasn’t alone from Cayman. He had a lot of “cling-ons” everywhere he went.

        Poor Canover, went down all alone…tisk tisk.

  12. Anonymous says:

    They’ve had two years to reshuffle the deck and shred everything. This should have been done IMMEDIATELY upon Webb’s arrest (and the public catalog of DOJ charges). Cayman’s complicit 14 club league teams are to blame for this delay, and frankly, the Sports Ministry and Cabinet ought to have been more forthright in demanding transparency. Even if the books are now sufficiently forged and repaved to appear normalized, the culture of back-scratching favorites within the league remains. There is a lot of money missing and dubious contracts awarded that immediately precede this 3yr audit period. They should have to go back a minimum of 5 years to give this much-belated audit some semblance of authenticity.

    • Anonymous says:

      New banditos same old tricks

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Not 5 years my friend. They need go back to 2002 when FIFA first made its first grant. I think you will find for most of the years the books are unauditable. Just a considered opinion. You must admit when the chief honcho and his accounting assistant are off-island, under investigation and heading for the slammer the likelihood of getting cooperation is rather slim.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Here come the judge!

  14. Anonymous says:


  15. Anonymous says:

    Is this really going to be a forensic audit? What are they going to use to pay for what can be an expensive undertaking?

    • Anonymous says:

      Any audit will be a waste of time as dubious records will have been destroyed and those responsible will not be available for questioning for many years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe Aspinall could volunteer his services?

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