Sat, Aug 13, 2011 - Page 18 News List

FIFA probes 16 CONCACAF officials for bribery

Reuters, MIAMI

Pablo Escobar, left, and Sebastian Gonzalez of Bolivia’s The Strongest team react after losing a goal in the Copa Sudamericana on Thursday. FIFA said on the same day that it is investigating 16 officials for corruption and that more suspensions will follow.

Photo: Reuters

World soccer’s governing body FIFA said it has opened ethics proceedings against 16 Caribbean soccer federation officials, following an initial probe into cash-for-votes allegations during this year’s presidential election.

The cases are related to the meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on May 10 and 11 where it was alleged that Qatari soccer official Mohammed Bin Hammam handed out bribes to Caribbean members of CONCACAF — the regional body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Those under investigation include eight federation presidents, from British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines and the US Virgin Islands.

One of the officials — Guyana Football Federation president Colin Klass — has already been provisionally suspended, FIFA said.

FIFA said all the cases were “apparent violations of the code of ethics” and the governing body did not rule out opening more cases if fresh evidence is uncovered.

The 16 officials facing investigation by FIFA are: David Hinds and Mark Bob Forde (Barbados, FA general secretary and executive member respectively); Franka Pickering and Aubrey Liburd (British Virgin Islands, FA president and vice-president); David Frederick (Cayman Islands, FA vice-president); Osiris Guzman and Felix Ledesma (Dominican Republic, FA president and vice-president); Colin Klass and Noel Adonis (Guyana, FA president and general secretary); Yves Jean-Bart (Haiti, FA president); Anthony Johnson (St Kitts and Nevis, FA president); Patrick Mathurin (St Lucia, FA president); Joseph Delves and Ian Hypolite (St Vincent and the Grenadines, FA president and general secretary); Richard Groden (Trinidad and Tobago, FA general secretary) and Hillaren Frederick (FA president, US Virgin Islands).

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