Four Caribbean football officials
have been banned, including Jamaica Football Federation (JFF)
president Horace Burrell, for their part in a cash-for-votes
scandal in the run-up to this year's FIFA presidential election.
Two other officials were reprimanded and fined by FIFA's
ethics committee, one was reprimanded and another five were
given warnings, FIFA said in a statement on Friday.
The longest ban from all football-related activity, 18
months, was handed to Franka Pickering, president of the British
Virgin Islands FA, who was also fined 500 Swiss francs ($560).
The cases are related to a meeting in Port of Spain,
Trinidad and Tobago on May 10 and 11 where it was alleged that
FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam handed out bribes
to Caribbean members of CONCACAF - the regional body for football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Former Asian football chief Bin Hammam has since been banned
for life by FIFA but has protested his innocence along with
ex-CONCACAF and Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president Jack
Warner of Trinidad and Tobago.
Warner, like Bin Hammam a FIFA Executive Committee member
when the scandal blew up, was also under investigation by FIFA
for allegedly offering bribes but resigned before the probe was
Bin Hammam withdrew his candidacy before the presidential
vote, allowing Sepp Blatter to be re-elected for a fourth
successive term as head of football's world governing body.
Several officials described receiving brown envelopes
containing $40,000 in cash at CFU meeting.
Acting CFU president Burrell, a long-time Warner ally, has
been banned for six months, three of which have been suspended
for a probationary period of two years.
The suspension means Burrell will have to withdraw his
candidacy for the CFU presidency.
The election will be held in Jamaica next month and will now
see fellow Jamaican, Ralph Anthony James, going up against
another Warner ally Harold Taylor of Trinidad & Tobago.
Osiris Guzman, president of the Dominican Republic FA, and
Ian Hypolite, general secretary of the St Vincent and the
Grenadines FA, were suspended for 30 days, 15 of which were
suspended for a probationary period of six months.
They were also fined 300 Swiss francs each by the ethics
committee, headed by former Switzerland international Claudio
Aubrey Liburd (British Virgin Islands) and Hillaren
Frederick, president of the U.S. Virgin Islands FA, were
reprimanded and fined 300 Swiss francs each while Anthony
Johnson, president of the St Kitts and Nevis FA, was
David Hinds and Mark Bob Forde (both Barbados), Richard
Groden (Trinidad & Tobago), Yves Jean-Bart (president of the
Haiti FA) and Horace Reid (JFF general secretary) were warned.
Jean-Bart was injured in last year's earthquake in Haiti and
subsequently gave a lengthy interview to CNN describing the
Felix Ledesma (Dominican Republic) was considered not to
have committed any violation.
The cases of David Frederick (Cayman Islands) and Joseph
Delves (president of the St. Vincent and Grenadines FA) were
closed since they are no longer football officials.
"Should they return to football official positions, their
cases would be examined again by the Ethics Committee," FIFA
Last month, FIFA handed a 26-month ban to Colin Klass,
president of the Guyana FA, for his involvement in the Caribbean
Football Union meeting in May.
The decisions came one week before a FIFA Executive Committee meeting where Blatter is expected to give a progress
report on the fight against corruption which has rocked football's
governing body in the last year.
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