Former football official arrested…again

The Anti-Corruption Commission has announced an arrest on 4 June, 2018 in connection with a long-running investigation into financial matters involving the Cayman Islands Football Association. Although officials have not confirmed the identity of the 47-year-old man, several sources have indicated this to be former CIFA treasurer Canover Watson.

The following is the full text of the statement issued by the commission:

“Investigators from the Anti-Corruption Commission arrested an individual on 4 June 2018 in connection with an ongoing investigation and previous arrests made on 29 and 30 June 2017.

Responsible for investigating serious allegations of corruption the Investigators arrested the 47 year old male, from the George Town area, on suspicion of committing the following offences:

  1. Secret Commission – contrary to s.21 of the Anti-Corruption Law 2008;
  2. Money Laundering – contrary to s.135 of the Proceeds of Crime Law 2008; and
  3. Conspiracy to defraud – contrary to Common Law.

Initially he was detained for questioning at the Prisoner Detention Centre (Fairbanks) but was subsequently released on bail.”

Watson and CIFA 1st Vice President Bruce Blake were arrested last year in connection with the matter.

Watson has been serving a seven-year prison sentence in connection with a fraud sentence relating to a scandal involving a patient payment system at the Health Services Authority.

Former CIFA President and FIFA Vice-President Jeffrey Webb was also charged in connection with that case but has not appeared before the local courts. He remains in the US, awaiting sentencing for his role in a widespread corruption in international football. Since being arrested in 2015, he has pleaded guilty and has been on house arrest in Georgia. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

Blake, who had been overseeing most day-to-day football matters at the time was suspended from local football activities. However, he has continued in his role as an executive member of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU). Despite his suspension, Blake served as “match coordinator” for many of the matches in the just concluded Cayman Islands Invitational U15 tournament.

A CIFA official told this fell outside of his suspension, which relates to the domestic association. The tournament that involved the Cayman Islands National U15 team, featured seven other visiting teams including Major League Soccer academy DC United, which defeated the Cuba National U15 team in the final.

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