GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CNS) -- The Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) expects FIFA-appointed auditors to complete a forensic review of its books within the next six weeks. After the former president of CIFA, Jeffrey Webb, admitted to racketeering charges in the US and after revelations that CIFA cash may have been involved in a corrupt hospital contract, acting president Bruce Blake said he had contacted FIFA to conduct a review of the local association’s records.
CIFA headquarters, Grand Cayman
As well as getting FIFA officials to examine the books, Blake said he had asked for assistance in recovering funds diverted from CIFA accounts. During the recent trial of Canover Watson in the corruption case, it was revealed that Black Holdings Ltd, a company owned by CIFA vice president Peter Campbell, had received some $250,000 from CIFA in a transfer of cash that involved AIS Cayman Ltd, the company owned and created by Watson and Webb that they used to secure the contract with the hospital.
While FIFA and CONCACAF are currently undergoing leadership and other major changes, with the notable exceptions of Canover Watson and Jeffrey Webb, many of the “old guard” remain in charge at CIFA, much to the concern of sports minister Osbourne Bodden and many people involved in local football.
One leading private sector auditor in the Cayman Islands has described FIFA examining CIFA as “poacher turned gamekeeper”, given the global organisation’s own failings.
While Blake promised last December that there would be some kind of independent forensic audit (a condition imposed by Bodden before CIFA gets its annual government grant of $120,000 back), there have been no further details about that review committee from Blake. However, FIFA’s lawyers and a forensic IT consultant have already paid a visit to Cayman and, in a press release on Tuesday, the executive said they had “spent the better part of the past two weeks” at the CIFA offices.
“CIFA is assisting FIFA with its review and investigation and have provided its agents full access to CIFA’s books and records,” the release said. “This was followed by a meeting of CIFA officials and FIFA officials in Zürich last week Thursday to discuss the next steps. A visit by FIFA appointed auditors is expected within the next six weeks to conduct a forensic review of CIFA financial transactions and review its new policies and procedures and to make recommendations.”
According to the CIFA release, FIFA and its attorneys “have expressed appreciation to CIFA for its cooperation and have acknowledged CIFA’s significant administrative and financial control improvements” since the new executive took office in August of 2015, the officials claimed.
Republished with permission of Cayman News Service