CIFA fined, president banned over ‘misconduct’

| 31/05/2021 | 71 Comments
CIFA President Alfredo Whittaker with sports minister at the time, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, when she reinstated government funding for CIFA

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Football Association and its president, Alfredo Whittaker, have been found guilty of misconduct and neglecting to provide the required safeguards for the health and safety of players and others involved in a preliminary qualifier for the FIFA World Cup 2022. FIFA, the world football governing body, found that CIFA failed to comply with and implement the required safety precautions for the match between the Cayman Islands and Canada, which was held in Bradenton, USA.

As a result, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee imposed a fine of around US$55,650 on the local organisation and banned Whittaker from official games for six months.

The match was originally scheduled to take place on 28 March but it had to be postponed by a day because Whittaker, who is also the team manager, did not present the PCR test results of the Cayman Islands national team players and team officials as standard protocol requires. FIFA also found him “guilty of misconduct and inappropriate behaviour towards a match official, in addition to having demonstrated disregard for the establishment of the safety of the players, officers and referees involved in the match in light of the COVID-19 pandemic”, according to a release from FIFA.

As a consequence, CIFA has been sanctioned with a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs “and Whittaker has been banned from exercising any official activity in connection with the national-team competition matches of the CIFA for six months”.

The match resulted in an emphatic defeat for the Cayman Islands, who lost eleven nil, but things have now gone from bad to worse. Shortly after FIFA announced that it intended to take disciplinary proceedings, Whittaker claimed he was not concerned because it was a simple misunderstanding that would be cleared up after he submitted explanations.

FIFA obviously took a very different view, saying that the fine and ban related to breaches of several rules. In its decision, the Disciplinary Committee said it took into account the concerted efforts made by member associations, the confederations and other stakeholders to secure the successful resumption of football in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CIFA is still believed to be strapped for cash, as government funding was not re-instated until the end of last year. The money was withheld for several years as a result of the global corruption investigation which had sucked in CIFA President and FIFA Vice President at the time, Jeff Webb.


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Comments (71)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There are plenty of honest, competent volunteers with integrity, who’d like to be involved in administering Cayman football. But unless there’s a clear-the-decks action, none of those good citizens, both Caymanian and foreign, will not offer their much needed services, expertise, etc., and for free too. So while CIFA remains inefficient, with an unexplained financial history, we’re saddled with the best of the worst.

    Clearing the decks of course not only means the CIFA committee/s but also many of the managing committees at clubs (some of which are influenced by a single figurehead). Instead, each should have a committee with checks & balances, and effective independent oversight. I can count on 1 hand the number of clubs that are properly run. Support of a corrupt CIFA administrator only survives with the consent (and participation) of similarly corrupt club personnel.

    Though little will change with regard to on-field performance. We just don’t produce enough footballers to find enough very good ones, and in any case, why would footballers give up a salary elsewhere, to play and train for next to nothing. A squeaky clean committee won’t lead to us winning matches.

    I have some sympathy for Freddo. Some reports show he did the right thing in the circumstances (delayed flight was not his fault, so the subsequently missed Covid test not his fault either) , but FIFA/CONCACAF were unmoved. Maybe there’s more to it than I’ve read.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bring back Jeff Webb! He may have had his problems but at least he had integrity.

    #blessed

  3. Chris Johnson says:

    What is little known is that in 2015 the Government of the day did their very best through Mr Ossie Bodden and Premier Wayne Panton to liaise with Bruce Blake of CIFA and suggested the formation of a committee to investigate the affairs of CIFA. The purpose was to try and fix the problem and get CIFA back on track rather than destroy it. From my own investigation it was patently obvious that CIFA was still being run improperly. Bruce Blake refused to cooperate in the suggestion and the offer of assistance came to nothing.

    The Government had no teeth at that time other that to withdraw any funding. From my own personal knowledge I can say that both Wayne and Ossie did their very best. Now of course we have the Charities Law which does give the Government some remedies. Naturally I was shocked to see the last Minister of Sport giving CIFA further monies.
    Since CIFA comes within the ambit of the Charities it would be wise for the Auditor General to make further enquiries of CIFA before the situation gets much worse.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The only thing more dangerous than ignorance, is arrogance!

  5. BLVCKLISTED says:

    Losing 11-0 then getting a $55k fine on top of that… lmao…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Corruption/Lodge rules Cayman Islands

  7. Anonymous says:

    Can we all now please agree that CIFA provides no social benefit and stop supporting them with public money permanently? If football is so great they’ll get private industry to step in. If its not … let it die.

    PACT – over to you

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think players or other hopefuls that see a future in football should be punished by this. Accountability starts at the top and CIFA is long overdue!!

  8. Bertie : B says:

    Jeff Webb is Still noted as a Notable person on Wikk .I mentioned this years ago. Who updates this stuff . S.M.H

  9. Anonymous says:

    When bullshit like this is uncovered, you never hear a squeak from Martyn Roper.
    Why is that?
    Anyone care to enlighten me?

    • Say it like it is. says:

      12.36pm Morons like you blame everything on the Governor. As the Queen’s representative he has no mandate for interfering in domestic matters unless there is a serious threat to public safety as occurred in the Turks and Caicos.

      • Anonymous says:

        CIFA is a local branch of a private international organization named FIFA. Governor or elected government have no control or say over what they do.

        The English and Yanks were completely fine with the corruption riddled FIFA until the world cups went to Russia and Qatar. Turns out their bribes weren’t big enough!

    • Anonymous says:

      Marin Roper always says , i agree with the Premier.

  10. Chris Johnson says:

    This is appalling news, the latest but unlikely the last of CIFA misdoings.
    As I understand it CIFA is registered under the Charities Law and as such can receive donations from both the government and the private sector. It must be audited once a year but a few years ago an accounting firm was instructed to prepare a forensic report on CIFAs activities during the Webb years. This report has never been disclosed to the public which is wrong. From my own in-depth investigations it was obvious that there was something afoot at the building of the new pitch and clubhouse at Newlands. For example the 1500 sq ft clubhouse was included in the accounts at CI$750,000 which equates to CI$500 per square foot. That was in itself a red flag and confirmed when I looked at the planning application to see estimated costs of CI$180,000.Where were the auditors I asked? Did they both to even visit the ground? I sincerely doubt it. My further investigations led me to conclude that the accounts prepared by CIFA, but audited by more than one audit firm, were inaccurate and misleading. This related not only to the clubhouse but the pitch as well. My occasional visits also uncovered that a huge amount of topsoil had gone missing and my enquiries revealed a possible recipient. Of course CIFA may well have sold it.
    It is my understanding that two major creditors remain unpaid for many years and thus it is quite likely that CIFA is insolvent. In these circumstances the CIG should advance no further funds. CIFA should be replaced with a new body with an independent body of directors and not merely those of the football clubs. It will need a strong president with an impressive leadership record with an impeccable record of integrity. The remaining hurdle to overcome is finance which needs be addressed by private funders and the CIG.
    Football is the most popular sport in Cayman and we must overcome the past problems and reinvent its management.

    • Anonymous says:

      A whole new board needed to be elected after Jeff and gang were arrested. Clean sweep. We need some people with integrity in positions. With all the people that went through the football system over the many years there has to be some good honest and intelligent people who can give back now most importantly for the youth of this island.

    • Albert Conolly says:

      Well said,my friend.for the LOVE of the game.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If only it was Rugby

  12. anon says:

    He needs to be dismissed immediately which is how this would be handled in a civilised country.

  13. Anonymous says:

    David Legge was right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except it was endemic then, more of a pandemic now.

    • Anonymous says:

      When he said that you personally were corrupt?

      • Anonymous says:

        Stop the nonsense; he didn’t call anyone personally corrupt. I read the editorial. Did you?

        • Anonymous says:

          I did, yes.
          He said you were corrupt. Yes you, personally. A lot of people just don’t like to hear it because they are so happy saying that everyone else is corrupt. But strangely hate it when Legge puts them in the pot with everyone else and says that they are corrupt. Strange.

          • Anonymous says:

            Here’s the link to the editorial in question: https://www.caymancompass.com/2015/06/03/corruption-an-insidious-creeping-crime/

            Please point to the exact sentence where he says I, you or anyone else specifically is corrupt. I dare you.

            Also, if you are saying that he called us all corrupt because he used the word “we” to say we normalise instances of corruption because it’s so prevalent, then the we would certainly include himself in the disparagement since he is part of the collective we – especially since he (or the staff of the paper he ran) wrote it. But at least Legge was pointing out something most of us know to be true, and given the number of civil servants who have been charged with various crimes of corruption over the years (Immigration, RCIPS, Fire, DVDL, Customs, etc) to sit here holier than thou and pretend otherwise makes you look foolish. How many examples of how Legge was right do you need to accept the truth?

        • Anonymous says:

          Yup. Red it, saved it, can quote it. Legge said that “Because such behavior [corruption] is so commonplace, we tend to “normalize it,” refusing even to recognize it, or neglecting to see how aberrant it really is” – So, unless you are not one of we, you are corrupt. See how that works? Either you’re not Cayman, or if you are Cayman you are corrupt, i.e., have accepted corruption as normal and not aberrant. SO, which are you? One of we who are all labled as corrupt or someone else?

          And don’t try to claim that you are one of the we but not one of the corrupt ones. There was no room in Legge’s editorial for such a people. Sorry. You were either corrupt or you were not of Cayman in his editorial.

          So stop praising the editorial and accept it for the divisive polemic it was deliberately written as. Or, you know, keep being deliberately divisive. Your choice.

          • Anonymous says:

            I think you need to improve your reading comprehension skills. Saying “we” normalise corruption doesn’t mean that “we” are all guilty of the act. Nor does it mean “we” like corruption or condone corruption. It simply means we have, as the editorial pointed out, accepted it as normal because of its prevalence. It’s similar to gun violence in the U.S.- Most people don’t commit gun violence or even condone it; but given that it happens so often, people accept it as normal – even if they’d like it not to be. Now, you might want to delude yourself, stick your head in the sand and pretend corruption is not endemic in the Cayman Islands (as it is in many places, I might add) but then you become part of the problem, not the solution. But what I would be willing to bet on is that what really bothers you is that a paper Caymanian had the nerve to call Cayman out for its corrupt tendencies.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Freddo is quite likeable, apart from that superman-type handshake. He knows a lot about local and national administration, about local and grass roots football. But has that typical Cayman view of the rest of the world. Sure, we’ll follow rules, up to a point, but where we don’t feel like complying, we’ll try to talk ourselves around it, or play the small-island card – we don’t have the infrastructure or money to comply, so give us a pass.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t like that ‘stereotype’ comment – Anonymous says:
      01/06/2021 at 9:43 am “””” But has that typical Cayman view of the rest of the world. Sure, we’ll follow rules, up to a point, but where we don’t feel like complying, we’ll try to talk ourselves around it, or play the small-island card – we don’t have the infrastructure or money to comply, so give us a pass.”””

      Don’t stereotype me and my people! Damned factious!!!

  15. Ball Boy says:

    I assume Whittaker will show some class and pay for this out of his own pocket?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Another regression in Cayman society! Back in the 1970s Cayman had vibrant, active and exciting football. There was very little money – only what was provided by donors and sponsors; I’m not even sure if there was “CIFA” as a formal organization, but the leagues were run by people with passion for the game, not passion for the money.

    Now it’s clearly about access to the large funds (by comparison to the 70s) provided by FIFA and CIG. Crooks and thieves! Funds to develop football for the players are stolen!!

    Like everything else in Cayman, Greed and Corruption took over!!!

    Bring back the Glory Days!! If only………….

    • Chris Johnson says:

      I recall those days playing for Scotia. It was amazing fun although there were some pitch invasions when the supporters did not agree with the referee’s decision. CIFA seemed in order for many years but I retired long ago so I do not recall much until the tangled Webb debacle.

      • Roger Davies says:

        Yes Chris I was on the Scotia team that beat Byrite 1-0 in the first Cayman FA Cup final in 1971.I still have a copy of the official programme (price 10c),with L.A.Hew, West Bay, as referee and Renard Moxam as centre forward for Byrite who won the league that year. There were never any scandals then as there was never any money, all the teams financed themselves. The league in those days was organised by Len Cohen who worked in Cayman for M&G securities and he put a lot of time and effort into it.The one problem we had was the West Bay soccer pitch which had a concrete cricket strip right in the middle. This was a major hazard in wet weather when playing in soccer boots.

        • Chris Johnson says:

          The concrete cricket slab had cracks in it so whilst playing the game it was quite dangerous if the ball hit a crack. West Bay had a fast bowler called Bent and I reckon he exploited those cracks. With no helmets it was a bit dodgy out there. There was one other hazard in the form of quite a dip or hole in the pitch. When chasing a high ball one had to remember where it was otherwise you fell on your ass.
          In those days Skinny Donalds would assist after the match when without a bottle opener he just used his teeth to open the beer bottles. What a character.

          • Anonymous says:

            With that headband, mop of unruly hair and ’70s red-and-white Adidas combo, I had you pegged as a tennis man Chris – the spit of McEnroe 50 years on.

            Him or Ron Burgundy.

        • Kenneth Morgan says:

          I have a copy of that programme too….I was a substitute but enjoyed the warm beer afterwards donated by John Collins

    • Rick says:

      Who ran football then? Let us know, so we can identify non-corrupt people on that experience.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why is anyone surprised by this? When Alfredo was head of the CIFA Referees Association he was sanctioned by CIFA for financial misconduct and banned for one year.

    Alfredo Whittaker was elected President of CIFA because that’s what the football clubs in Cayman want. Just like they wanted Jeff Webb, Canover Watson, Jack Warner etc.

    Election time everyone gets money. Now that elections are over, it’s time for government to once again stop giving OUR money to CIFA.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t we offer Arden “Cheeky” Rivers and Barry Martinez these positions. They are more passionate about the youths.

  19. Anonymous says:

    And Cayman continues to embarrass itself on the world stage. It’s almost a daily occurrence! CaymanKind!

  20. Anonymous says:

    If any team was familiar with strict Covid protocols, it is ours. Flouting health protocols on the international stage is ridiculous. Government needs to stop supporting CIFA (again!) if they can’t run a clean, rule-abiding organization.

  21. Anonymous says:

    From one ‘know it all’ to another ‘know it all’. Simply put. Nothing more needed to be said.

  22. Anonymous says:

    another glorious day for the civil service…

    CNS: CIFA is not the civil service.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are funded by way of the Ministry of Sports, staffed by Civil Servants, who presumably have done their due diligence prior to the release of funds.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:13

        Total rubbish the civil service has absolutely nothing to do with CIFA. They are not staffed by civil servants. How do you not know this. Zzzzzzzzz

        Accept that this is another failed private sector led body. Like Offreg and CPA.

  23. Anonymous says:

    You need someone competent and not corrupt in the CIFA. Wow. All the time something. Its a bloody football club. Common people.

  24. Anonymous says:

    How could this happen in the private sector.

    I guess CIG will rescue again.

    • Anonymous says:

      cifa is a government funded entitiy…with all salaries paid by government.
      therefore…. civil service level of incompetence

  25. Anonymous says:

    It surely was a misunderstanding after all..

    • Anonymous says:

      Cultural differences

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, cultural differences. The guy fails to respect health safeguards required for competition during a pandemic, while in another country. They should have thrown him in jail as would have been the case had this occurred in Cayman. I’m sure most of you would have been whining and crying racism and claiming it was hate towards Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Belly wash.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes , a lot of misunderstandings can be avoided if you keep your assistant away from the fax machine.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a great role model for our children.

  27. Elvis says:

    Typical no accountability accepted lol.

  28. Anonymous says:

    More atrocious behavior from CIFA. What a surprise. Can’t wait to see how Govt excuses this, gets back in line to give them more $$$.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Not another one! Such role models!

  30. Anonymous says:

    What, pray tell, is the reason that the football clubs don’t all come together and agree to terminate idiots like this for cause and appoint someone more worthy of trust, given the years of malfeasance and added scrutiny? Something never ever smells quite right about the vessel for national football in the Cayman Islands, and that’s of the club Presidents. What have these guys got on you?!?

    • Anonymous says:

      You’ve clearly never had any dealings with the local football clubs. The idea of them actually getting together and agreeing on anything is laughable.

    • Anonymous says:

      CIFA culture indicates that not following rules is “their way”.

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