FIFA drops charges against David

The world’s governing body for football has dropped charges against an ex-official in the Cayman Islands. 

Former Cayman Islands Football Association Vice President David Frederick has been exonerated by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Frederick had been caught up in the ongoing bribery scandal that rocked members of the Caribbean Football Union. 

FIFA ceased investigations into Frederick due to his decision to step down from his position back in August. In a statement, which also addressed its dropped charges against Joseph Delves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, FIFA noted, “should they return to football official positions, their cases would be examined again by the ethics committee.” 

Cayman’s football body did not comment by press time. Back in August the local football association stated that it was cooperating fully with the FIFA investigation. 

“The football association is aware of the recent developments with the ongoing FIFA investigation into the Caribbean Football Union meeting on 10 and 11 May, 2011. The association is taking this matter very seriously and will continue to cooperate fully with the FIFA ethics committee in their investigation. We would like to stress at this time that David Frederick has not been suspended nor has he been charged with any wrongdoing and has offered his full cooperation to FIFA in their investigation.” 

Frederick has been silent throughout the course of the investigation. His only statement came in August, acknowledging he was aware of the FIFA investigation. 

“I … am aware of the recent developments with the ongoing FIFA ethics investigation. I will continue to cooperate fully with FIFA in its investigation in bringing this matter to a satisfactory resolution.” 

According to ESPN, FIFA did not give Frederick and Delves the same “presumption of innocence” it afforded to former FIFA vice president Jack Warner in June when the 28-year executive committee veteran resigned rather than face sanctions. 

A number of Caribbean football chiefs were punished this month including Jamaican Football Federation president Horace Burrell. The senior official will be banned for six months as part of the bribery case involving former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam. FIFA’s ethics committee also ruled three months of Burrell’s ban will be deferred for a probationary period of two years.  

As a result Burrell, a long-time ally of Warner and a member of FIFA’s disciplinary committee, must now withdraw from the Caribbean Football Union presidential elections scheduled for November. He was a favourite to win the position. 

Burrell states though the ban is a tough verdict, his future in football is clear. 

“It is harsh and painful for me personally,” Burrell said. “But I will not appeal the decision, considering the relative levity of the sanction and the cause for which it was handed down. 

“I have no reason to doubt that I shall be readmitted to my present FIFA functions after the three-months suspension has been served.” 

Interestingly, Burrell has a link to Cayman. Back in 2008 the Jamaican national football team played a international friendly against the Cayman Islands in Grand Cayman. Burrell was invited to attend the Cayman-Jamaica contest, which he observed alongside current Cayman football association chief Jeff Webb. 

Former Jamaica Prime Minister Edward Seaga, who is president of his country’s Premier League Clubs Association, said he regretted the sanctions against Burrell. 

“(He) has given great service to Jamaican football,” Seaga said. “But we must also be happy that FIFA is taking steps to clean the nest of corruption in Caribbean football.” 

Since the bribery scandal began in May, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football has seen its top three elected Caribbean officials in Warner, Burrell and Lisle Austin either resign while under investigation or receive a FIFA ban. Austin, of Barbados, was banned for one year after he used a civil court in the Bahamas to pursue his bid, as interim president of CONCACAF, to fire CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer. 

FIFA president Sepp Blatter is scheduled to provide the first details of his promised anti-corruption project to clean up world soccer this Friday. 

Cayman Football action

Cayman’s national football team recently played World Cup qualifiers against the likes of El Salvador. – PHOTO: EUGENE BONTHUYS

HBurrell and JWebb Cayman

Horace Burrell and Jeff Webb in Cayman three years ago. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES