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CFU officials face life bans as FIFA set to start corruption cases
Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials face lifetime bans as FIFA gets ready to start corruption proceedings against more than ten of its officials following a probe into allegations that they took money from a candidate in the world football body’s presidential election race. Fifa’s Zurich-based ethics committee will meet today to decide on who will appear before its panel to give details of the May 9 and 10 meeting held at the Hyatt Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port- of-Spain. In a release yesterday, Fifa said it could not speculate on what will happen. On July 26, the CFU officials were given 48 hours to provide information about the meeting in which it is alledged they accepted US$40,000 bribes from Qatar’s Mohamed Bin Hammam, to vote for him in the race for FIFA presidency. Bin Hammam, ex-head of Asian soccer, was subsequently banned for life for his role in the meeting. Several of the CFU bodies did not comply with the request.
T&TFF president Oliver Camps said yesterday his Federation gave an account of its involvement at the initial investigations so it was not necessary to comply with the July 26 request. FIFA told the CFU officials they would face less punishment should they provide information on the meeting. “Truthful and complete reporting will be considered in mitigation by the ethics committee when deciding on potential sanctions,” FIFA said last month. “Any person who has relevant information but does not come forward during this 48-hour period will be subject to the full range of sanctions.” Cuba was the only member of the 25-strong CFU which did not send a delegate to the meeting in T&T where Bin Hammam pitched for votes. Officials from nine countries told investigators they had accepted or were offered envelopes full of cash. The remaining 15 denied knowledge or refused to take part in the probe. The ethics committee will also hear a case against Barbados official Lisle Austin, who briefly replaced Warner as head of Concacaf. He is alleged to have broken Fifa statutes concerning taking legal action in civil courts.