No budget for CIFA as troubles roll on

| 13/11/2017 | 13 Comments

(CNS): The minister with responsibility for sports has confirmed that the Cayman Islands Football Association is still not receiving any money from government as the financial scandal surrounding the local sports organisation continues. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly told the Finance Committee that CIFA was going through another forensic audit, and following the results of that government would revisit the question of funding. The sports ministry has historically allocated cash to the football body to help support the youth programmes but the money was stopped by the former minister, Osbourne Bodden, when questions arose in the wake of the FIFA and CarePay scandals.

After Jeffrey Webb, the former president of CIFA and CONCACAF, was arrested in the broader FIFA corruption investigation, the concerns about the finances of CIFA were raised and questions began to be asked. But when evidence emerged in the hospital corruption case involving the former CIFA treasurer and HSA board chair, Canover Watson, showing that he and Webb were also using CIFA accounts to move corrupt cash, the minister froze the government’s annual allocation of around $120,000.

Despite the hardships this has caused the organisation, CIFA has remained reluctant to be completely transparent about its finances. Several audits have already been conducted, including by FIFA, but the organisation has still not explained a number of problematic transactions.

Things were compounded this summer when Bruce Blake, who had stepped into Webb’s post after he was arrested in Switzerland, and Canover Watson were arrested here by officers from the local Anti-Corruption Commission looking into potential corruption at CIFA.

Blake has denied the allegations that he was in any way connected to any corrupt activities, while Watson, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence for the corruption convictions relating to CarePay, has made no comment about his arrest regarding CIFA finances.

Although both men were arrested some five months ago, no charges have been brought against either of them.

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Category: Crime, Government Finance, Politics

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    why has the national team not played any matches since 2015??

  2. JTB says:

    CIFA will not have any credibility for so long as anyone who was involved during the Webb years remains in place in any role at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      True! …And for as long as Cayman’s handful of clubs insist on keeping them there! Disgusting collusion by all of them – and the kids are made to suffer for their greed – while program funds have been misspent, lost, diverted, and covered up!

    • Anonymous says:

      Riddle me this: two years in, how can our local clubs remain so complicit in keeping things unchanged when the whole planet can read the indictments about the eels that were running things and feathering their nests? Where is the honour?

  3. Anonymous says:

    No worries mon. Webb will be out soon and money will be flowing again.

  4. Anon says:

    I see no good reason not to vote funds for CIFA in this current Government Budget. CIFA has a new executive management , the should receive our support and not be marred by the reputation of the former fraudsters that ran the Association. In the end Cayman’s children are suffering the lack of both the Sport’s Ministry nearsightedness and CIFA’s old corrupt guard.

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG should hold the funds in escrow until there is a clean bill of health from the auditors. The kids programs shouldn’t have to axed – the bad actors need to be and any traceable assets recovered ASAP!

  5. Anonymous says:

    We should have had a forensic audit on the Brac paving scandal.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the Cabinet status grants but hey…we were not named the lawless Caymanas for nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      We need the Standards in Public Life Law (2014) to be commenced with full effect ASAP. None of our MLAs, or their appointed crony board members, want to adhere to a basic conflicts disclosure. Welcome to the Cayman Islands in 2017.

  6. The Truth says:

    Forensic Audit, these people need to come clean on Mr. Dick being short changed for fill at the Prospect pitches.

    Its a crying shame for a man that has done so much for the development of this country to be forgotten, shame on all the 3rd class politicians that aren’t standing up for justice and the children.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Check the Brazilian connection. One of the most corrupt places on the planet. Long line of coaches making their way here. Coincidence? Hardly.

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