KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — The FIFA bribery scandal has reached St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
The world football governing body last week announced that it has opened ethics proceeding against 16 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials, including SVG Football Federation president Joseph Delves and general secretary Ian Hypolite.
FIFA said in an Aug. 11 statement that the proceeding are “in regard to apparent violations of the Code of Ethics connected to the investigation of the cases related to the special meeting of the CFU held in Trinidad & Tobago on May 10 and 11, 2011”.
The ethics proceedings come in the wake of the bribery scandal that saw Mohamed Bin Hammam, who was contesting the FIFA presidency, banned for life.
FIFA Ethics Committee in July found Bin Hammam — a Qatar national — guilty of offering cash gifts of around US$40,000 each to the Caribbean associations. He said he would appeal.
Trinidadian Member of Parliament Jack Warner was implicated in that scandal.
FIFA dropped all investigations into him and said that “the presumption of innocence is maintained” after Warner resigned as FIFA vice-president and quit all football activities.
Chair of the Ethics Committee, Claudio Sulser, has provisionally suspended Guyanese Colin Klass, from taking part in any football-related activity — administrative, sports or otherwise.
FIFA has entrusted Ethics Committee member Judge Robert T. Torres with supervising and directing the investigation into the CFU officials.
The Ethics Committee will contact the 16 officials to arrange further interviews in connection with these proceedings.
“It is important to note that the investigations are still ongoing, and that it is therefore possible that further proceedings could be opened in the future,” the FIFA statement said.
In addition to the Vincentians, proceeding have been undertaken against football officials from Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.