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Foul play? Curious Derick questions timing of rejection for CONCACAF presidency

Published:Thursday | April 14, 2016 | 4:00 AMAndre Lowe

President of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Gordon Derrick has expressed disappointment following the rejection of his candidacy for the CONCACAF presidency, this after FIFA announced he had failed an integrity check.

In a media release issued yesterday, Gordon, who also serves as the president of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association, noted that he found his non-admittance for the CONCACAF presidential election odd given what he termed the minute nature of the cited offence.

CONCACAF, the football authority for the North America, Central America and Caribbean region, is expected to elect a new president on May 12 in Mexico City. CONCACAF's president is automatically a FIFA vice-president and is a member of the organisation's executive committee, which will be known as the FIFA Council.

Derrick outlined that he received a letter from FIFA's Audit and Compliance Committee chairman, Domenico Scala, on April 12, 2016, which informed him that he could not be admitted as a candidate for the election of the office of FIFA vice-president.

He further noted that the correspondence cited a November 17, 2011 reprimand in the wake of the Mohammed Bin Hamman matter, which saw several regional football leaders fined and charged with receiving cash payments during Bin Hamman's failed bid to become FIFA president.

BARRED FROM CONTESTING

Derrick noted with interest that he is being barred from contesting for the post for what he deems a minor offence.

"Mr Domenico Scala cited a November 17, 2011 reprimand following the Bin Hammam matter, for which I was fined CHF 300, and an ongoing investigation that began over a year ago, on March 6, 2015. I find it curious that the reprimand of 2011 was too minute to warrant an appeal and further that the principal person in the matter was vindicated upon his appeal, yet this was deemed significant enough to derail my candidacy," read Derrick's statement.

"It is equally interesting that the investigation opened against me by the FIFA Ethics Committee has been prolonged for over a year and was used as the second plank upon which I was disqualified. Given the series of events leading up to this announcement, I am not surprised, but I am nonetheless disappointed and concerned," Derrick said before stating that he is now considering his options.

"This disappointment and concern is not just for myself. It extends to football in the region and the course our development agenda seems set to take. I am carefully considering my next move and hope to make a more comprehensive statement in due course," the statement continued.

The development means that Bermuda's Larry Mussenden and Canada's Victor Montagliani are the remaining candidates for the CONCACAF presidency.

CONCACAF's last three presidents - Austin 'Jack' Warner, Jeffrey Webb and Alfredo Hawit - have all been booted for their alleged involvement in the corruption scandal that has rocked FIFA.