KINGSTON - The Jamaica Football
Federation (JFF) has denied allegations it accepted a bribe
during a meeting with suspended Asian Football Confederation
president Mohamed Bin Hammam.
In a statement on Thursday, JFF president Horace Burrell
said no money was offered to Jamaica to vote for Bin Hammam
during last month's meetings of the Caribbean Football Union
(CFU) in Trinidad & Tobago.
"Let me state categorically the JFF was not offered, neither
received any funds prior to, during or after the CFU meetings
held on May 10-11 in Trinidad," said Burrell who is acting as
CFU president in the absence of the suspended Jack Warner.
Qatari Bin Hammam, who was due to stand against Sepp Blatter
in this week's FIFA presidential election before he withdrew his
candidacy last Sunday and was subsequently banned by world football's ruling body, has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
On Sunday FIFA's Ethics Committee was given a report,
compiled on behalf of CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer,
containing details of the CFU meetings and statements that cash
payments were made.
The Puerto Rico Football Federation confirmed to FIFA it did
receive the money and has offered to pay it back while the
Bahamas Football Federation says it was offered but did not
accept the cash.
Burrell's statement followed calls by former Jamaica Prime
Minister and now head of the Jamaica Premier League Clubs
Association (PLCA) Edward Seaga for regional federations to
declare whether or not they had been offered money at the
"To restore the integrity of the region the present leaders
of the CFU must call on all the federations which received and
kept the $40,000 bribe to return it forthwith or face public
disclosure of the identity of these Caribbean federations which
are corrupt by holding the integrity of the region to ransom,"
Seaga said in a statement.
"This act of corruption involves the reputation of the
Caribbean football federations and has shamed the reputation of
football, much to the great sorrow of lovers of the game and
other well-thinking people."
Burrell replied by saying Seaga had overstepped the mark.
"The statement appears to have tried, found guilty and
pronounced sentence on an entire region's football associations
despite the fact the competent authority to adjudicate these
matters has come to no such conclusion," said Burrell.
"In fact FIFA's Ethics Committee is currently considering
the matter and we await the final outcome of its investigation
and due process.
"Despite this public knowledge the PLCA's chairman has
inexplicably sought to tarnish the reputations of at least 30
member associations of the CFU with what can only be described
as reckless, unproven allegations and acts of corruption.
"The JFF calls for the PLCA chairman to either provide the
public and indeed the FIFA ethics committee with any evidence he
has to corroborate these allegations or cease to engage in this
denigration of an entire region's reputation forthwith by
withdrawing this release," added Burrell.
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