May 26, 2022

The Editor Speaks: Will CIFA’s appointment of accountants make any difference to Cayman Government’s non support?

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The Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) yesterday (Wednesday 21) June, 2017) announced the appointment of Grant Thornton as its independent auditor.

In a Press Release from CIFA it said Grant Thornton will undertake forensic and financial statement audits of CIFA financial transactions and activity, as well as conclude the 2014 to 2016 audits.

Grant Thornton, which has local offices in Camana Bay, is the world’s seventh largest professional services network of independent accounting and consulting member firms which provide assurance, tax and advisory services to privately held businesses, public interest entities, and public sector entities. Grant Thornton International Ltd is a not-for-profit, non-practising, international umbrella membership entity organised as a private company limited by guarantee. Grant Thornton International Ltd is incorporated in London, United Kingdom, and has no share capital.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

In the CIFA Press release it said the appointment was after a competitive tender process overseen by the CIFA Executive Committee and approved by FIFA.

CIFA President Lee Ramoon said, “I would like to thank Grant Thornton for their high professional standards demonstrated, and we look forward to working with them to complete the forensic and financial statements audits of CIFA and to provide our membership and other stakeholders with a complete accounting of all funds received by CIFA over the years.”

It would appear that Grant Thornton are also providing full accounting services to CIFA. As they are executing the audit as well that could be concluded as a conflict of interest?

With suspicions raised over where all the monies went under former CIFA and CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, just labelled as “the most breathtaking scoundrel of all” by also disgraced former FIFA head Sepp Blatter, this appointment is unlikely to make new Government Sports Minister Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, change its present position initiated by former Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden.

There certainly won’t be any change until the audit has been completed.

And then there is the question of so many of the old Webb clan still in the CIFA Executive Committee, including Webb’s good friend Bruce Blake who took over from Webb, was present when Webb was arrested in Switzerland, and has made no public statement condemning Webb. In fact he said it didn’t matter that government had withdrawn their monetary support. Blake also did everything he could to stay in power that he still holds, even under the new President, Lee Ramoon, Blake is on the Executive Board of the Caribbean Football Union that CIFA is a member of.

Why the local clubs have continued to support the CIFA executive is a mystery.

It’s the same as where has all the money gone?

The vast sums of monies CIFA once had has done nothing to help football here in the Cayman Islands and the government cannot be blamed for that.

CIFA’s appointment of accountants Grant Thornton, however, is a step in the right direction, no matter it is a very small one and forced on them. And a long time has passed for those books of accounting to have been put into that cooking pot.

It might take a very good witch to sniff for that bad odour.

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