Former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam has been banned from football for life after being found guilty of attempted bribery. This revelation has resulted in a call by FIFA's Ethics Committee Chairman Petrus Damaseb for FIFA's legal department to prepare cases against officials who attended bin Hammam's campaign stop at a Port of Spain hotel.
The Barbadian arm of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) had denied any wrong doing in accepting bribes, through its president, Ronald Jones in a media release which stated "The Barbados Football Association makes it pellucid that none of its delegates were offered any inducements or gifts to support any of the candidates during the meeting on the 10th of May in Trinidad."
"Our delegates (General Secretary Mr. David Hinds and Executive Member Mr. Bob Forde) listened to the Speeches by Mohamed Bin Hamman, who was there to make a case as to why he would need the support of FIFA members of the CFU" the statement further stated.
"As President of the Association, I am positive that our delegates operated with the highest level of integrity and professionalism as I would have expected of any member of the BFA's Executive."
The guilty charge against Mr. bin Hammam, and further investigations to be carried out against those who had, and had not accepted bribes has now raised burning questions as to whether Mr. Jones was supplied with all the facts, and if it might affect his stint as President of the BFA, and as a minister of the Barbados government.
In 2005, FIFA had suspended the Barbados Football Association following a power struggle between the association's former secretary-general Randy Harris, who was contesting Ronald Jones' win in the September 2004 club-president elections.
FIFA arbitrators had ruled in favor of Jones, but Harris took the issue to the Barbados High Court, prompting FIFA to suspend the BFA. FIFA prohibits members from taking internal soccer matters to court.
BFA president Ronald Jones confirmed the action, which first appeared on FIFA's website. He said the news was devastating for the island, whose most popular sport is soccer, and which boasts more than 200 BFA-registered teams of various levels.
"It means essentially that Barbados has become a pariah relative to football in the world," Jones said. "No one can play with or against Barbados."
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