FIFA Financial Watchdog Member Suspended Over Corruption Inquiry

A member of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee has been temporarily suspended following his arrest on allegations of corruption and money laundering in his native Cayman Islands, soccer’s global governing body said.

Canover Watson was arrested last month on suspicion of money laundering, abuse of public office and breach of trust contrary to the Cayman Islands anti-corruption law, the Compass Cayman reported on Sept. 1. The allegations focus on a contract for the islands’ public hospital swipe-card billing technology when he was in charge of the Health Services Authority.

“After a preliminary clarification of the facts of the case and the allegations of the Cayman Island investigating authorities against Canover Watson, no connection with football and/or his role at association level has been established at this stage,” Domenico Scala, chairman of FIFA’s financial watchdog, said an e-mailed statement.

Watson, a vice president of the Caribbean Football Union, denies the allegations and has been released on bail, the Compass Cayman said, citing a statement by his lawyer.

“The chairman has decided to temporarily relieve until further notice Canover Watson, to whom the presumption of innocence applies,” Scala said.

“This should not be regarded as routine procedure, because cases like this or of this nature must always be assessed on their individual merits,” Scala said

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