The Nation and Advocate both carried almost identical articles about The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football’s (CONCACAF’s) investigation into allegations about Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer. While the article covered the main allegations and findings it is only when you read the full report of CONCACAF’s Integrity Committee, that you appreciate the exploitation carried out by both men during the years when they were President and General Secretary respectively.
CONCACAF is to be congratulated on setting up the Committee and giving it the remit to carry out the investigation and the resources to execute its task. More congratulations are in order for allowing public access to the report – and note, within a day or so of when it was presented to the organisation’s Congress.
The allegations investigated were wide ranging but included a whole raft of issues ranging from the ownership of CONCACAF’s Centre of Excellence in Trinidad, through misappropriation of funds, to breach of duty to CONCACAF. The Committee which included Sir David Simmons, the former Chief Justice of Barbados, found that both men committed fraud, misappropriated funds, breached their fiduciary duties, violated the organisation’s statutes and violated the FIFA ethics code. In addition, Blazer violated US Federal tax laws.
BU recommends that you should read the report, even if just the Executive Summary – see full report: Note also a big part played by Barbados’ Lisle Austin is outlined in the report. You can use the ‘find’ feature t search for Lisle Austin’s name.
There is, of course, a wider message here. CONCACAF identified serious financial allegations, investigated them in the proper way and published the result publically. The result – a short period of scandal but longer-term confidence in the proper management of the organisation.
Contrast this with the Barbados Government’s treatment of allegations such as the financial irregularities on the Barbados Water Authority’s new headquarters. The Blogs have covered the allegations. Even the Nation was brave enough to publish something about the Minister’s speech in Parliament:
“In response to a number of queries from Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and MP for St James Central Kerrie Symmonds, Estwick reiterated that consulting company Deloitte had found no substantial issues in the project to construct the Barbados Water Authority’s new $70 million headquarters. “…And that’s all I have to say about that. You can talk now to the cows come home,” Estwick told Symmonds before retaking his seat.”
The people of this country pay Mr Estwick’s salary. There are allegations of financial irregularities on this contract and they have a right to understand what is going on. Please follow CONCACAF’s lead and publish both Deloitte’s terms of reference and their report. Please also confirm that the contract price for the building is still under discussion but will be way in excess of BDS$70 million.