The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has fined the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) US$55,500 and banned its president, Alfredo Whittaker, from official duties involving national team competition matches for six months.
The sanctions relate to incidents at the qualifying match between the Cayman Islands and Canada held in Bradenton, FL (USA) on 29 March 2021.
The match had to be postponed by one day because Whittaker – who was also Cayman’s team manager – did not present PCR Covid test results of national-team players and team officials as required by FIFA’s standard safety protocols.
“Furthermore, Mr Whittaker, by way of his conduct, has been found 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,” football’s world governing body said in a press release.
Match officials had filed a detailed report about Whittaker’s conduct before the qualifying match that Cayman lost 0-11.
The report in particular complained about Whittaker displaying “bad attitude when the Match Commissioner requested the passport checking list”.
The match commissioner also accused CIFA of not providing certain equipment and personnel the association had agreed to make available for the match.
After FIFA, in a letter on 31 March, announced disciplinary proceedings for the incidents prior to the qualifying match, Whittaker stated to the Cayman Compass that he was confident the matter would be resolved and that he was not concerned.
Whittaker said he had submitted additional explanations and paperwork, and described the matter at the time as “a simple misunderstanding”, emphasising the disciplinary proceedings conducted on 15 April were a “hearing for more of clarification than anything else”.
FIFA said it sanctioned CIFA and Whittaker for breaches of articles 16 (Order and security at matches) 12 (Misconduct of players and officials) and 11 (Offensive behaviour and violations of the principles of fair play) of the organisation’s disciplinary code.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee said that in its decision it took into account the concerted efforts made by FIFA’s member associations and confederations to resume competitive football matches in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.