Canover Watson’s trial ended weeks ago and he is now behind bars in HMP Northward Prison. However, the repercussions of his actions are still being fell through out Cayman.
Minister of Sports Hon. Osbourne Bodden told Cayman 27, the Government and CIFA have reached a stalemate in regards to funding. Until CIFA is able to produce signed audited financial reports for their 2014-2015 fiscal year, he says they won’t get a single cent form government’s coffers.
Last year, the Ministry of Sports ceased its funding of CIFA after auditors, who were reviewing CIFA books, stopped working due to what they claimed was to be financial irregularities. During an interview with Cayman 27, Minister Bodden said their decision still stands.
“At this point we are not resuming funding CIFA, under [the] current conditions. We’re still at a stalemate because we still do not have audited signed of financial statements for that year 2014-15,” said Minister Bodden. He added,”We simply can continue to fund them.”
Jeffery Webb’s arrest and subsequent guilty plea, cast a negative spotlight on Cayman and helped to perpetuate the image of a ‘shady tax-haven’. During the time of his arrest he was a sitting FIFA Vice President, CONCACAF President and CIFA President. Webb’s involvement with CIFA brought on scrutiny on the organisation, which was then exacerbated as details from the Canover Watson trail came to air.
“After listening and hearing the stuff that came out of the Canover Watson trial, which is now done so we are free to talk about it. We heard about the accusation of money being funneled through CIFA,” said Mr. Bodden.
He says CIFA needs change, but it is a change that not even he, the Minister of Sports, can do. He told Cayman 27, CIFA officials should “step aside for the good of the game.”
Minister Bodden said, “I think that with out a doubt in the interest of Football CIFA executive who has been there and have been involved for a long time, should question themselves, ‘how can you remain there under a could like that?’ For the interest of football they should do the right thing and the honorable thing.”
Cayman 27 reached out to CIFA seeking a comment to Minister Bodden’s remarks. However, no reply was received.