December 5, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Hogwash

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Colin Wilsonweb2When a barrel of good apples has a bad apple thrown in the result is all the apples will soon go bad. When apples begin to decay, they emit gases. If the rotting apple is mixed in with a group of other apples, the good apples can absorb these gases and begin to rot, too.

Often is the case when one person’s negative demeanor or bad behavior can affect a whole group of people, influencing them to have a similar negative attitude or to engage in the same bad behavior.

But one bad apple doesn’t have to ruin the whole bunch. You can think for yourself and you can do what is right — regardless of what others are doing.

Is the present Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) full of good apples? Legally it is full of sweet tasting juicy ones as no one present or past has been found guilty of any crimes pertaining to football nor outside.

However, Canover Watson, suspended FIFA audit committee member and former CIFA board member, is facing a criminal trial in Cayman in November related to allegations that he used his former position as a member of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority Board to enrich himself through the award of two public hospital contracts.

Also, Jeffery Webb, suspended FIFA vice-president and suspended CONCACAF president was also CIFA president until his suspension, already facing charges in soccer’s global bribery scandal, has now been charged in the healthcare fraud case with Watson.

Both men are close friends and have property close to each other in the USA.

DSC_0016I must repeat both Webb and Watson have pleaded “Not Guilty” to their respective charges and are innocent until proven otherwise.

The problem is there is a stink. It has a very bad smell. And this smell is right at the doors of CIFA.

In fact it has permeated inside the building and needs eradicating. For the benefit of the whole of the Cayman Islands football fraternity it must be removed. If it doesn’t football in the Cayman Islands will be set back for years to come.

A new broom sweeps cleaner than an old one. And just by association the current board therefore must now go.

Osbourne Bodden, Cayman Islands Minister of Sports is worried and concerned. He has warned, as reported by CNS, “government would need to look at its level of support for CIFA, as he raised concerns about the entrenchment of the current administration and the public call for change”.

Quite right. I would expect anyone thinking of sponsoring anything to do with football in the Cayman Islands is thinking the same.

So Bruce BDSC_0022lake with his great love and dedication to football’s future should, I would think, welcome changes beginning with himself. CIFA elections are coming up very soon on Sat 29th so if someone else is interested in the job he would immediately stand down and open his arms out to the new incumbent and endorse him. Especially as someone of great caliber and well known in business and footballing circles has come forward. It is Renard Moxam and he has also brought along former Immigration Board head and lawyer Sharon Roulstone for the assistant general secretary’s post, currently held by Mark Campbell.DSC_0026


And the Sports Minister has welcomed this.

These two persons were nominated by two local football clubs ahead of the upcoming association elections,

Hurrah. Hurrah.

But no hurraDSC_0028h.

Blake and his team went to work and looked at all the fine print and found by a whisker there could be some doubt as to both of them complying with the rules. So they issued a statement saying their nominations were illegal.

Minister Bodden was quite rightly not happy as is the vast majority of the Cayman Islands public. He said so in an interview reported by CNS and the Cayman Compass.

Blake’s great love for football immediately prompted him to send out a Press Release on behalf of CIFA that we published Aug 24th “Cayman Islands Football Association makes their case for prohibiting nominations from Moxam and Roulstone” at:

I have to say after reading the PR “HOGWASH!!!”

The main point in PR statement is:
“It will be appreciated in light of the foregoing details regarding the nominations that the documents were not straightforward as they did not comply with the Articles. It was only then noted that the nominations in respect of Mr. Moxam and Ms. Roulstone might be irregular. The matter was circulated before the Executive Committee which is empowered under the Articles to take decisions on all matters which are not exclusive to the Congress and/or general meeting. The unanimous view was that the nominations in respect of Mr. Moxam and Ms. Roulstone were irregular and did not comply with the Articles. No precedent for submitting nominations in this form particularly where a nomination was sought to be seconded when the nomination had not been made could be found. It was decided to obtain a legal opinion on the matter. That opinion confirmed the views of the Executive Committee members. Mr. Moxam and Ms. Roulstone were advised as soon as the Committee’s concerns had been confirmed by legal advice on 12th August that their nominations were defective. Mr. Moxam was subsequently advised on 14th August of the contact details of CIFA’s attorney. Mr. Moxam was also advised that he should take the matter up with CIFA’s attorney.
CIFA heard nothing further on the matter until the article appeared in the Caymanian Compass on August 18th.”

Then CIFA very unwisely has a go at Minister Bodden.

“It is most regrettable that the Minister did not await a response from CIFA to his email sent in the afternoon of August 19th. Had he done so he would have understood that Mr. Moxam and Ms. Roulstone’s nominations were defective. He would be aware that CIFA was, and remains, bound by its Articles of Association. There is no lawful basis upon which CIFA may depart from those Articles in order to accommodate a nominee whose nomination is defective.

“Much comment has been made regarding a need to change the leadership of CIFA. There is a perfectly open election process in CIFA’s Articles (a process approved by Cabinet at the time CIFA was granted “not for profit” status under Section 80 of the Companies Law when the provisions of its Articles were approved by Cabinet). If the CIFA membership feel change is required it is of course open to the members to effect that change by nominating new officers. It does not require, and is inappropriate, to seek to enlist public opinion and government intervention particularly in an organisation subject to other international obligations which include remaining politically neutral.

“The situation is no different from a voter submitting a spoiled ballot in a general election. The voter’s polling station is not open the following day to allow him to complete a proper ballot neither is another general election held because a candidate failed to meet the requirements to run.”

Yes – HOGWASH!!!

They admit there has been much comment regarding a change of leadership but are they going to do that? Not on their own are they.

If the CIFA membership does not act and throw Blake and his board out on their ear on Saturday it is the end of the road for football here. Where are they going to get their pot of gold from if they don’t?

Why is Bruce Blake and co. trying to hold onto their jobs when they  know the vast majority of the football loving public want them gone as does the government? CIFA’s reputation throughout the world has been tarnished.

Why won’t they go?

One has to ask what is in it for them?

There can be no prestige here in the Cayman Islands so it must be elsewhere? The FIFA powerhouse?

Resign and don’t stand Mr Blake. That PR you sent out has done you and your board more harm than good and if you can’t see that you must be living on a different planet, let alone this world and especially here in the Cayman Islands. Football here does not want you.

PS. The new CIFA football pitch “Centre of Excellence” that officials have said has already cost $1.8M is due to be completed by the end of this month.

CIFA also received an additional $500,000 from the GOAL to continue to develop the centre in Prospect.

Here are some photos taken in the last few days.

August? Hogwash to that too.

I’m going to have some lunch now at the Captain’s Bakery. You never know whom you might meet in there. Unfortunately not one of the principal owners. He is wearing a police tag back in the USA.

But I do believe they  have jerk hog on the menu.

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