News 1 February 2016

New inquiry demand after court tale of how Webb diverted FIFA cash

GEORGE TOWN: The Cayman Islands Sports Minister, Osbourne Bodden, has demanded an inquiry and reforms into the local football association which was once the fiefdom of Jeffrey Webb, the disgraced former FIFA vice-president.

Webb was being touted by friends and associates as a possible next FIFA president and was head of the Cayman FA while, according to court testimony this past week from business partner Canover Watson, he was arranging for FIFA development funds to be siphoned off for his own personal use.

Watson, a former CIFA treasurer and ex-member of the audit committee of the world federation, has denied charges of fraud over a CarePay swipecard scheme while he was chairman of the local health authority.

Bodden said: “These revelations [in this case] only go further to cement my view that CIFA needs a full investigation going back at least 15 years and anyone involved over that time should not be a part of CIFA now.

“If they are, they should step aside in the interest of the sport and the young people of these islands. Cayman is always under scrutiny and this is the kind of thing that our critics latch on to and beat us with. [It is] most regrettable to hear all that’s being uncovered.”

Watson said in evidence this past week that FIFA funds intended for the development of a football centre of excellence in the Cayman Islands were diverted for Webb’s personal use.

He claimed that $250,000 earmarked for the football project was transferred by CIFA to a company called Black Holdings Ltd, which then deposited the funds into a Fidelity Bank account opened to receive funds from the HSA for the CarePay contract in April 2011.

The funds were later used as a payment on Webb’s mansion near Atlanta, Georgia. Webb is currently under house arrest at the property while on bail from a Brooklyn after admitting to corruption charges in the FIFAGate investigation.

Black Holdings Ltd. had a contract to work on the CIFA Centre of Excellence in Prospect, and was owned by Peter Campbell who has been a local CIFA vice-president since 2009.

According to FIFA records, Black Holdings Ltd. and Roy Campbell & Sons Construction Ltd., received about $1.2m of development funds for the Centre of Excellence between 2003 and 2009.

• This article was originally published on Keir Radnedge’s internet site on 31 January 2016. To access the original, please click here.

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