No ‘black eye’ on Caribbean, says CFU boss
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president, Gordon Derrick, believes the Caribbean can rebound from the latest scandal to shake the region.
Last May, the Caribbean was plunged into turmoil when CONCACAF president and FIFA vice-president, Caymanian Jeff Webb, was arrested and indicted by the United States on corruption charges.
Former CONCACAF president, Trinidadian Jack Warner, who was also a FIFA vice-president, was also indicted by the US on similar charges and is currently fighting extradition.
Derrick said despite this, Caribbean leaders still had a role to play in football governance.
"I don't think there is a black eye on the Caribbean per se, or that because these two (cases) happened back to back and, therefore, no one else can do it (lead). I think that would be unfair," Derrick told an international news agency.
"Yes, the confidence (in the Caribbean) will be down, but we are a proud people from a proud area, who have ability, who can govern and who are intelligent. So if someone from the Caribbean steps up, they will step up and do well."
Warner was at the centre of the first CONCACAF cash-for-votes scandal in 2011, and was forced to resign amidst corruption allegations.
However, the US Department of Justice said it had continued to investigate Warner and subsequently named him - and Webb - as part of a 47-count indictment related to racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering conspiracies.
Twelve other football officials were named in the indictment, and Derrick was careful to stress that the scandals did not only centre around regional figures.
"Not everybody in the Caribbean is tainted. If you look at this scandal, you look at who the big player is and what country did he come from?" the Antiguan reminded.
"It is not just the Caribbean, it is throughout. Regardless of where you are ... there are people who are not on the straight and narrow, that doesn't mean everybody in that country is the same way."