World’s football’s governing body FIFA said they have opened ethics proceedings against 16 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials, including Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation General Secretary Richard Groden, following an initial probe into cash-for-votes allegations.
The cases are related to the meeting in Port of Spain on May 10 and 11 where it was alleged that Qatari football official Mohamed bin Hammam handed out bribes to CFU members.
Bin Hammam has been banned for life by FIFA but has protested his innocence along with ex-CONCACAF president Jack Warner, who resigned before the investigation was completed.
Warner is the minister of works in the Trinidad and Tobago government. One of the 16 officials – Colin Klass of Guyana – has already been provisionally suspended from taking part in any football related activity, FIFA said.
FIFA said the cases were “apparent violations of the Code of Ethics” and the governing body did not rule out opening more cases if fresh evidence is uncovered. “It is important to note that the investigations are still ongoing and it is therefore possible that further proceedings could be opened in the future,” said the statement.
The allegations, made after CONCACAF’s American General Secretary Chuck Blazer reported the claims to FIFA, came shortly before the re-election of FIFA’s President Sepp Blatter.
Several Caribbean officials claimed they received brown envelopes containing US$40,000 in cash.