Statement from CIFA

Over the course of last week reports have appeared in the media regarding the Cayman Island Football Association (CIFA) Annual General Meeting and the election of certain officers of CIFA’s Executive Committee pursuant to the terms of CIFA’s Articles of Association. 

Regrettably neither CIFA nor its attorney have been given an opportunity to put CIFA’s views prior to these articles being published in the [Cayman] Compass on August 18th and 21st, 2015 and Cayman News Service on August 20, 2015. 

The purpose of this statement is to put the relevant facts before the public so that the statements in the media can be read against an accurate factual background. 

CIFA’s Articles of Association call for the officers of CIFA to be elected for four-year terms. The officers’ election is to be staggered in order to ensure continuity within CIFA. Those Articles further provide clearly defined requirements in respect of nominations of officers to CIFA. 

The relevant requirements are that nominations must reach the General Secretary at least 21 days before the general meeting at which the officers are to be elected. The General Secretary is required to advise the members of CIFA at least 14 days prior to the general meeting of those nominations. 

The Articles clearly state that nominations must have two (2) proposers and two (2) seconders and be agreed upon by the nominee. Each proposer and each seconder must be a member of the Company [CIFA] in good standing. The Articles preclude nominations “from the floor” at the general meeting where nominations have been received in accordance with the Articles. There is no power in the Articles that allow either the members in general meeting or any official or body of CIFA to vary the provisions in the Articles so far as they relate to the appointment of officers and the nominations for those positions. 

CIFA’s annual general meeting will be held on 29th August 2015. The cut-off date for nominations under the Articles was therefore 8th August 2015. The first nomination was received on 29th July 2015, and following that a number of other nominations were received. 

On 5 August 2015 a nomination was received from the Academy Sports Club (“Academy”) seeking to nominate Mr. Moxam for First Vice President. Two days later (7th August) Academy send further letters, among them a letter seconding Mr. Moxam’s nomination by Savannah Tigers (“Tigers”). (The Tigers nomination had not then been received and therefore it was impossible for Academy to second the Tigers’ nomination as they purported to do). 

Late in the afternoon on 7th August the Tigers’ nomination seeking to nominate Mr. Moxam as First Vice President was received. Tigers at the same time sent a letter seconding Mr. Moxam’s nomination i.e. Tigers both proposed and seconded his nomination. 

Under cover of these nominations Mr. Moxam emailed the Acting General Secretary of CIFA advising he was enclosing the nomination and seconds letters from Tigers and enquired whether the nominations were in order. The Acting General Secretary replied in the evening of 7th August 2015 stating “it would appear that the requirements of the nomination process have been met.” 

7th August was a Friday. No further nominations were received after those of Tigers. 

On 10th August 2015 (the first business day after nominations closed) the nominations received were scrutinised prior to being circulated by the Acting General Secretary. 

It will be appreciated in light of the foregoing details regarding the nominations that the documents were not straightforward as they did not comply with the Articles. It was only then noted that the nominations in respect of Mr. Moxam and Ms. Roulstone might be irregular. The matter was circulated before the Executive Committee which is empowered under the Articles to take decisions on all matters which are not exclusive to the Congress and/or general meeting. The unanimous view was that the nominations in respect of Mr. Moxam and Ms. Roulstone were irregular and did not comply with the Articles. No precedent for submitting nominations in this form, particularly where a nomination was sought to be seconded when the nomination had not been made, could be found. It was decided to obtain a legal opinion on the matter. That opinion confirmed the views of the Executive Committee members. Mr. Moxam and Ms. Roulstone were advised as soon as the Committee’s concerns had been confirmed by legal advice on 12th August that their nominations were defective. Mr. Moxam was subsequently advised on 14th August of the contact details of CIFA’s attorney. Mr. Moxam was also advised that he should take the matter up with CIFA’s attorney. 

CIFA heard nothing further on the matter until the article appeared in the [Cayman] Compass on August 18th. 

The first contact the Honourable Minister for Sport had with CIFA was an email sent to CIFA’s First Vice President at 12:02 on August 19th. 

The substantive part of the email is extracted below. 

Good day Bruce – I read with interest the debate on the upcoming elections and I must say I was a bit taken back by the pronouncements from CIFA. At a time when FIFA, and by extension CIFA, is under fire and scrutiny. 

I don’t think it is wise for the latter to be making it difficult for an entrenched administration to be challenged and possibly changed. Instead it would be wise to welcome all and sundry to put themselves forward to contest whatever seat they see fit, and thereby show to the public that there is nothing to hide and you guys are willing to contest fairly for all Executive seats. 

If this stance continues it will be detrimental to the efforts of CIFA and myself as Minister, and the Government, will have to no doubt rethink the support it offers to the organization as it stands. I trust that you all will have a rethink on this and I will hear and see a different approach being taken before next week’s AGM. 

Mr. Blake being a nominee for election as an officer of CIFA referred the matter to the Acting General Secretary in light of his inherent conflict. On the same day Cayman News Service published the article entitled, CIFA Nomination Trouble Worries Sports Minister. A similar article was published in the Cayman Compass on 21st August. 

It is most regrettable that the Minister did not await a response from CIFA to his email sent in the afternoon of August 19th. Had he done so he would have understood that Mr. Moxam and Ms. Roulstone’s nominations were defective. He would be aware that CIFA was, and remains, bound by its Articles of Association. There is no lawful basis upon which CIFA may depart from those Articles in order to accommodate a nominee whose nomination is defective. 

Much comment has been made regarding a need to change the leadership of CIFA. There is a perfectly open election process in CIFA’s Articles (a process approved by Cabinet at the time CIFA was granted “not for profit” status under Section 80 of the Companies Law when the provisions of its Articles were approved by Cabinet). If the CIFA membership feel change is required it is of course open to the members to effect that change by nominating new officers. It does not require, and is inappropriate, to seek to enlist public opinion and government intervention particularly in an organisation subject to other international obligations which include remaining politically neutral. 

The situation is no different from a voter submitting a spoiled ballot in a general election. The voter’s polling station is not open the following day to allow him to complete a proper ballot neither is another general election held because a candidate failed to meet the requirements to run.