Six Caribbean Soccer Officials Suspended After Bribery Hearing

Six Caribbean soccer officials were suspended by world governing body FIFA over involvement in a meeting where former presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam allegedly offered bribes.

Patrick John, president of the Dominica Football Association, was banned from all activities in the sport for two years, the longest sanction handed down by the FIFA Ethics Committee. He was also fined 3,000 Swiss francs ($3,270), FIFA said in a statement.

The remaining suspensions ranged in length from 7 to 60 days, with each carrying a fine of 300 francs.

FIFA opened the probe after a May meeting of the Caribbean Football Union where Bin Hammam allegedly offered envelopes stuffed with $40,000. Bin Hammam, the former head of soccer in Asia, is appealing the lifetime ban he was given from the sport.

Vincent Cassell, president of the Montserrat Football Association, was suspended 60 days; Raymond Guishard, president of the Anguilla Football Association, was suspended 45 days; Noel Adonis, general secretary of the Guyana Football Federation, was suspended 30 days; Tandica Hughes, an official with the Montserrat federation, was suspended 15 days; and Everton Gonsalves, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Federation, was suspended seven days.

Derrick Gordon, general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda federation, was reprimanded and fined 300 Swiss francs, while Philippe White of Dominica and Damien Hughes of Anguilla were found to have not committed any violation.

The cases against Oliver Camps of Trinidad and Tobago, Lionel Haven of the Bahamas and Patrick Mathurin of St. Lucia were closed since all three are no longer soccer officials, but will be re-opened should they return to the sport, FIFA said.

Bin Hammam became the highest-ranked soccer official to be excluded from the sport on July 23. FIFA has spent a year trying to deal with corruption allegations linked to the presidential election as well as the choice of host for the World Cup, which brings in $4 billion.

One of FIFA’s vice presidents, Trinidad-based Jack Warner, quit the sport after being suspended pending a probe into him and Bin Hammam. He arranged the Qatari’s meeting with the CFU and the duo were banned May 29.

FIFA dropped its case against Warner, saying “the presumption of innocence is maintained,” following his withdrawal from the sport. Warner was also head of Concacaf, the regional soccer body for North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Bin Hammam is taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, denying the charge against him and saying it is politically motivated.

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