Caribbean league dream wrecked by Webb corruption

| 16/10/2018 | 34 Comments
Shaka Hislop, Cayman News Service

Shaka Hislop

(CNS): Shaka Hislop, the former FA Premier League goalkeeper, told attendees at a fraud prevention conference in the Cayman Islands last week that a Caribbean Premier League, attracting major international stars, could have been formed in the region if its reputation hadn’t been so badly damaged by corrupt officials such as disgraced Cayman football supremo Jeffrey Webb. His fraud conviction has tarnished the reputation of Caribbean football that will be practically impossible to remove, said Hislop – who made over 200 Premier League appearances and played 26 times for Trinidad and Tobago.

Speaking at the GCS AML Compliance and Financial Crime Conference, Hislop recalled the time Webb, a former CONCACAF chairman and FIFA vice president, had discussed plans with him to establish a premier league competition in the region.

However, the extent of Webb’s corruption was revealed in May 2015 with the arrest at a Zurich luxury hotel of 16 FIFA senior executives, coming in the wake of previous CONCACAF Chairman Jack Warner’s own scandals in Trinidad. Hislop, who is now an analyst for TV network ESPN, bemoaned the knock-on effect on the image of Caribbean football.

Warner is facing bribery charges for taking $10 million to secure his vote for South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup, in addition to numerous domestic scandals, including failing to pay bonuses due to the Trinidad and Tobago team from the 2006 World Cup, before being brought down by US authorities.

“I thought he was the perfect president for CONCACAF,” Shaka Hislop said. “I thought he had the interest of the game and the region at heart. When the extent of his involvement was revealed I was heartbroken. It hit me like a bus.”

The saddest thing for Hislop was the impact on Caribbean football, going from one corrupt CONCACAF president in Trinidad to the next in Cayman. “It was the same story. We have more than enough good people but this has affected our standing in the game internationally.”

Hislop said he first came into contact with Webb when he was attempting to negotiate a settlement for the Trinidad and Tobago players, who only received their owed payments when the government came to the rescue in 2014. He was excited by Webb’s vision of a Caribbean Premier League, which would have been able to attract international stars in the same way that North America’s Major League Soccer has and been successful in attracting large audiences and generating revenue.

“Why is such a league beyond us in the Caribbean,” he said. “It’s all because of the ill-gotten gains. Just imagine if this money was invested in the game at the grass-roots level.”

Caribbean football is also now suffering because of the lack of focus and investment at the grass-roots level, Hislop said, with more power drifting to the North American Football Union, where Canadian Vittorio Montagliani is now heading up CONCACAF.

“They have taken action to stem the bleeding and under the banner of ‘One CONCACAF’ have taken development over from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and we have been lumped in with Africa,” Hislop told the conference.

Meanwhile, Webb, who was convicted almost two years ago of several racketeering offences in relation to the FIFA scandal, has still not been sentenced. Although he has forfeited millions of dollars, he secured a seventh postponement of his sentencing hearing last month and is now expected to learn his fate in March.

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Category: Business, Sports

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Over the past 20 years cayman football was destroyed. All the focus was somewhere else. Why is it that I can name the entire national team that was captained by Lee Ramoon. Why is that I dont even know if we have a national team today. Who do we blame for that?

    Challenge… name one player on our national team if we have one.

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    • Chris Johns says:

      This article tells us nothing meaningful and most responses do not represent the real issues that need be resolved. Until someone grabs the bull by the horns football in Cayman is doomed.

      It starts at the top where players elect their club committees. In turn they elect members of the CIFA committee. So the blame game starts with the clubs who have done nothing to effect changes at the CIFA level.

      During these years under the mismanagement by Webb and his cohorts no one did anything about it. So sponsors, FIFA who gave large amounts of money and the CIG were effectively defrauded. The trickle down effect means that islanders were defrauded. And where were the watchdogs, the auditors? Confined to their kennels must be the answer. Did any of them visit Newlands to take a look at the pitch and clubhouse. Impossible otherwise they would have detected that the clubhouse worked out at CI$500 per square foot, costing CI$750,000. At 1500 square feet you get two or three homes built. The auditors might have also uncovered the fact that whilst management were mismanaging one local contractor remained unpaid. Only $100,000, a mere few Roplex watches.

      So where are we over three years later? Nowhere. The public have a big interest in this. It is their money and their children’s future. The Government is hamstrung as there is no law to cling onto. They really want it fixed and obviously will not give CIFA a dime until it is fixed. You cannot blame them for that. Certainly Ozzie tried he best a few years back but received no co-operation from the CIFA committee whatsover.
      Two years ago CIFA advertised for auditors to finish the incomplete audits of 2013 and 2014. We now have 2015/16/17 to look forward to.

      It is time for the Aegean Stables to be cleaned. The public demand answers. CIFA can start with the accounts and explain what they are doing about misappropriated monies and the recovery thereof.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Unlikely to happen…

        To the Parent Chat Group From Alfredo Whittaker July 17, 2018, 7:31PM:

        “Wen it come to the uniforms, maybe is important for all to know that for the first time in many many years we have 5 national teams in training and register to compete, U15 U14,U17,U20 and senior national team the total cost for uniforms is over 160k”

        Dare to run the numbers on that one? 16 players per team plus a coach and assistant coach, maybe a trainer and gov rep. Call it 20 people x 5 teams = >$1600 per person for kit. Seems like a very expensive negotiated tag for a wholesale order from an obscure South American clothing vendor. Not sure if those are USD or KYD figures…

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  2. Anonymous says:

    “Hislop” was “Caymanized” from “Heslop” just as Bodden was Caymanized from Bawden

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Hislop is a little off. Caribbean foot ball has been corrupt long before Warner and Webb and still is corrupt. At least they actually played some football and had lots of plans for the region. Nobody else seem to have a clue what to do with Football in the region.

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    • Anonymous says:

      At least under Webb, Caribbean football and world football was going somewhere. Blatter with Webb was encouraging African and Caribbean football Development. The corruption has been going on forever but when the so called developed countries do it it’s called lobbying and it’s ok. North America and Europe wasn’t happy having someone else in control so they took it bank. If Jeff was the problem why hasn’t anyone else stepped up for the region? Jeff may have made mistakes but world football and especially Caribbean football was much better under him.

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      • Anonymous says:

        3:08 – stupid is as stupid does

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      • Anonymous says:

        Keep drinking the koolaid. You’ll be saying Jeff and Canover are just misunderstood businessmen trying to do better for themselves and the Cayman Islands next.

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      • Anonymous says:

        “Jeff May have made some mistakes.” Are you serious?

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      • Anonymous says:

        3:08…Mental health check is urgently needed.

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      • kenny george says:

        Don’t know who you is (3.08) but I would shake your hand 100 times,
        Lots of comments on here blasting Jeff for what he did, not condoning it but under Jeff Webb Caribbean football was going somewhere, if you don’t believe me do a stats. every Caribbean country who couldn’t send their national team to tournament could have done so under Jeff, never happen under Warner.
        The whole true picture what he did was painted in a blurr and what was intended was hidden or never been told, what the USA had him on was jus $500.000.00, that’s it. that’s the reason for putting off sentencing was to giveup information on horse trading and kickbacks which was common in FIFA in order to bolster each region.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Organized sports and organized religion. Both toxic.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Caribbean corruption is nothing new, we just like to pretend it doesn’t happen here

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  6. Anonymous says:

    SMH Bout cayman heritage…, The man is Trinidadian, Hislop is not an indigenous caymanian surname i.e. it originates from somewhere else. Always looking to claim others while antagonising your own people. The trials….

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    • Anonymous says:

      There is no such thing as an indigenous Caymanian surname because there is no such thing as an indigenous Caymanian.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hislop is not a Trinidad name either. History tells us that 3 Hislop brothers came in this direction from the UK. One brother went to Trinidad, one to Jamaica and the other to one of the Eastern Caribbean islands. Descendants of the one that went to Jamaica migrated to Cayman.
      what difference does it make anyway!.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ha! Tell any Caymanian HISLOP that and they will foam at mouth telling you all the generations going back to the Nina, Pinta, Mayflower etc etc :0)

      Regardless of the messenger, the message is that Webb contributed heavily to the view that has formed. Mind you, corruption is everywhere but we all know that when Europeans do it, its called colonization, modernization, networking and when anyone else do it, its corruption. At the very least, Webb could have done SOMETHING to benefit Cayman but he didn’t give one singular f about football or the community, image, youth etc.

      I remember his cronies on social media claiming he was some martyr or scapegoat. They all silent now. He is a national embarrassment.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    …said the guy who hails from the same country as Jack Warner and company…Yawn….

    If only this was the beginning and the end of this mega corruption with Jeff’s webb arrest.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile Jeff Webb remains under “house arrest”, throwing parties and living it up! Shame! Now the bank of which Jack Warner is a majority shareholder (Republic National) has made an offer to buy CNB! What a tangled web we weave!

    BTW, Shaka Hislop, being from Trinidad, might have Cayman heritage. A lot of Cayman Hislops went to Trinidad in the lean old days to work in the oil industry.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Another bullxxxxxxx second to Jeff Webb. I wonder who he thinks he is fooling. All sports and their leaders are corrupt. Just let’s give him a few weeks to get back home and you probably smell his cesspool too.

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  10. The TRUTH says:

    Cayman will qualify for the World Cup when Satan develops freezer burn.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Webb was certainly at the center of a corrupt international network, which included dozens of people and entities, many of whom are not only (a) still actively involved in the clubs and sport business, but (b) refuse to account for, or pursue stolen/lost funds that were earmarked for their youth missions, nor have they (c) changed their entrenched corrupt hierarchy, or operating procedures. It’s convenient to blame Webb for everything, but then explain how it’s still going on: the same games and tricks; by people not yet in jail or yet under house arrest? What is it going to take to acknowledge the problems of maintaining the status quo, and re-align the beautiful game for the youth these national instruments were supposed to benefit?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Jeff Webb is one of Caymans finest! Free Webb!!

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Dream on. Webb was no surprise. The Caribbean was thoroughly corrupt before and remains so now.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    My god and Webb is still free to do what he want.

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