CIFA votes in new boss after tight election

| 23/11/2017 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alfredo Whittaker

(CNS): The beleaguered local sports body, the Cayman Islands Football Association, has voted Alfredo Whittaker as its new president. A well-known senior referee, Whittaker won a tight ballot 8-7 after Renard Moxam dropped out of the running, which included incumbent president Lee Ramoon, after four rounds of voting. In a statement about his election, Whittaker said he was looking forward to working with all stakeholders and has started the process of reaching out to them. “My agenda for the future will be ambitious, sensible and practical, with the main focus on grassroots and youth development, national program organisation and sustainability, referee and coaching development and club investment and support,” the new football boss said.

CIFA has been caught up in a collection of its own scandals in addition to those triggered by its former boss, Jeffrey Webb, and his conviction for racketeering and other crimes in the US justice department’s FIFA probe. CIFA has been facing questions about its finances, including funding for its new headquarters and field, as well as how the association’s accounts were also used by Canover Watson, the former treasurer who was convicted of corruption in relation to the CarePay hospital fraud.

In recent months Watson and former vice president Bruce Blake were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission in yet another investigation, though neither man has been charged with any offences in relation to that inquiry.

Government suspended the association’s funding in response to the concerns about its finances. During the recent Finance Committee hearings, the minster who now has responsibility for sport, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, confirmed that there was no cash in the latest budget for CIFA, but she said that, depending on the outcome of a forensic audit of the association’s books, the $120,000 annual grant from the public purse could be reinstated later.

With government and private sector funding drying up, Whittaker has a major job on his hands to restore the association’s reputation and get things back on track. But in a CIFA release on Wednesday he said he looked forward to the challenges facing his administration and was excited about the potential for football development and advancement in Cayman.

“Through the commission of a comprehensive football development plan, that will include input from all stakeholders, we will venture along a journey over the next four years of thoughtful and deliberate implementation of said development plan,” Whittaker said.

“Since my election, I have had the opportunity to speak with the CONCACAF and CFU presidents, and they have given their support to CIFA and to me and will continue to assist us in our football development.” He said he would be meeting with the CIFA executive committee for a status update of all matters and then he would be outlining his priorities for the new administration.

Immediately after the vote on Saturday, Whittaker said,“We cannot continue to look backwards; we need to look at the future. Sometimes when you look back, all you have is bad memories. Now is the time to move forward. We are going forward. We will see our football association go in a different direction.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Alfredo Whittaker, a man of unquestionable integrity no doubt.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Everything is provided for them, fields, bleachers, lighting, funding etc,etc, and they cannot account for anything at their yearly AGM. This organisation just do not need a shake up they need a complete new set of rules that require an annual scrutiny and held accountable.

  3. Anonymous says:

    cifa…. a fine representation of what the cayman islands are about.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We constantly hear that government resources are tight. Budget cuts happening in all departments. services being cut back. That said why in hell would they even consider giving funds to a bunch of adults to play sport? Especially a XXXXX organization like CIFA! Let them raise their own funds. If anyone cares they will support it. If not, well then it will die. Which is probably what should happen.

    Government, focus on the kids and junior programs. Take that away from CIFA. Of course you won’t. You can’t help yourself and will want to essentially buy votes by giving these losers funds. CIFA will be funded again before the end of the year. Just watch.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Chris Johnson has been given valuable advise and understands quite well what has taken place in the local sports body. He has always had a keen interest in this matter because of his genuine love for sports and his disgust for corruption. It would pay well to listen to this gentleman for once.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s definitely not alone. The indictments are public record and many people have read them. Except, perhaps, the 15 local clubs that comprise CIFA’s voter list. We have to look backwards with some urgency!

      • Chris Johnson says:

        There is much more information available that the indictments over the past couple of years. This fraud started long before that. Try 2003. It just needs an effort plus some FOIs.
        The clubs have acted disgracefully and a certain director resigned when he had an obligation to investigate what took place.
        CIFA should have changed its name to THIEFA?.

      • Chris Johnson says:

        I should have added that none of my findings are included in the indictments nor known to the US authorities. All my work was pro bono which Ramoon chose to turn down. That is inexcusable. Even the Compass was not interested in my findings.

  6. Anonymous says:

    8 of the 15 local football clubs voted for a mgmt platform that doesn’t want to look back to recover millions known to have been pilfered from our kids. Maybe that tells you everything you need to know about the Cayman Islands.

  7. Anonymous says:

    oooh, nothing nicer than a tight election.

  8. I Wanna Be A Developer says:

    What I can’t get over is how much ‘love’ football (CIFA) still gets. Ex players volunteering free professional services, etc. Its a sport with all of the antisocial behavior all competitive sports bring to the table. Best thing to happen is Govt. not wasting my money on CIFA.

  9. anonymous says:

    “Since my election, I have had the opportunity to speak with the CONCACAF and CFU presidents, and they have given their support to CIFA and to me and will continue to assist us in our football development.”

    Excuse me, but aren’t these the same crooks who gathered with Jack Warner to accept bribes from Mohammed bin Hammam to fix the World Cup votes?

    Immediately after the vote on Saturday, Whittaker said, “We cannot continue to look backwards; we need to look at the future. Sometimes when you look back, all you have is bad memories. Now is the time to move forward. We are going forward. We will see our football association go in a different direction.”

    Perhaps Alfredo has never heard the quote, attributed to several people I believe, “Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them”.

    Try calling Chris Johnson for advice instead of applying the FIFA rule that anyone caught stealing has to be slapped on the wrist and wait a couple of years before they can return to their old habits.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Congrats. First start with the youth. The youth club program is a disaster. Let’s get football in the district’s. Under 15 under 18 leagues needs to be everywhere. Ask CUC to expand their primary school program to high school. If you do nothing else. Fix youth football. What Jeff did led to gangs in the district’s. You can turn the tables.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not just amalgamate with the rugby club. Oh sorry I forgot the players need commitment as well as their own balls

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well done Alfredo. Wish you all the luck in the world, you will need it. Time to look ahead, we can not continue to do the same things for over 40 years and expect change.
    With the current format of the senior league CIFA has taken football 40 years back,anyone who has anything to do with that decision must be removed immediately.
    Also check the CIFA constitution and see if there is way to remove the 1st VP, as soon as possible.

  12. Chris Johnson says:

    The big question is will Mr Whittaker have the balls, football or otherwise, to sue those persons who defrauded CIFA. If so he needs get on with it. He alluded to a forensic audit back to 2006. Mr Whittaker for your edification this fraud started well before that date, as I advised your predecessor. Of course you can take a horse to the trough but you cannot make it drink.
    The investigation should have been commenced years ago on Blakes watch but as a mere accountant and lawyer serving on the CIFA board for several years that was never going to happen. The rest of the board did nothing. It is a complete unmitigated disaster and the government should continue to withhold funds until monies are recovered from those responsible.
    Finally I should add that three qualified accountants and former football players in Cayman offered Mr Ramoon to do the investigation for no fee. Moreover by that time It had been proved fraud took place at the Newlands stadium, involving some very large amounts of money.
    Just how frustrating can this be?

    • Anonymous says:

      I wholehearted agree. I would also hope for the children’s sake, that CIG provisionally allocates cash to CIFA for tournament participation, holding it in escrow pending “responsible financial action”, such as attempts to recover stolen/laundered/pilfered cash and holding any crooks (past or present) to account. It’s imperative that Alfredo look backwards and “clean up the yard” quickly in order to move ahead with any semblance of credibility. There are major tournaments every year that we cannot send our talented young players to because of decades of narcissistic jerks at the helm of CIFA. If he won’t do it for the kids, then what is he doing there?

    • Anonymous says:

      Too many friends who have friends is preventing an investigation from taking place.
      Forensic investigation has to be undertaken by impartial outside auditors who are also not politically connected.
      I.E. …it will never happen.

      • Chris Johnson says:

        To be fair on this matter an independent firm has been appointed to do a forensic investigation and I have confidence in that firm. The success of this is totally dependent upon cooperation they get from CIFA and the contractors that were paid money directly from FIFA.
        If there were misdoings as I think the audit will prove, then the conspirators should refund the monies to CIFA. I just hope the current committee has the balls to do it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wish you the best…really hope the goals you set are achieved….for the sake of Cayman’s reputation, Cayman football and the love of the game itself!!!

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