The FIFA Ethics Committee, under the chairmanship of Claudio Sulser (Switzerland), on Friday 23rd September, 2011, decided to ban Guyana’s FA president Colin Klass.
The former Guyana football association chief is now banned from taking part in any football-related activity, (administrative, sports or any other), for a period of 26 months.
He has also been fined 5,000 CHF, after he was found to have breached various articles of the FIFA Code of Ethics (articles 3, 9 and 14) following an investigation related to the special meeting of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) held in Trinidad & Tobago on 10 and 11 May 2011.
Officials from the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association were earlier this year, also said to have attended the same meeting and were said to be under investigation by the world governing body of football.
However, the SKNFA in a press release shortly after the scandal broke, stated that the association had not accepted any inducement.
It was back on 11th August 2011, that the FIFA Ethics Committee opened ethics proceedings against 16 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials in regard to apparent violations of the Code of Ethics connected to the investigation of the cases related to the same special meeting of the CFU held in Trinidad & Tobago on 10 and 11 May 2011.
One of the officials, Colin Klass (Guyana), was shortly after provisionally suspended from taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) by the chairman of the Ethics Committee, Claudio Sulser (Switzerland), after consideration of the specific information received on the matter.
Judge Robert T. Torres, a member of the Ethics Committee, was entrusted by the committee with supervising and directing the investigation. With the approval of the committee, he engaged Freeh Group International Europe (FGI Europe) and the secretariat of the Ethics Committee to assist the committee with this task. The Ethics Committee contacted the 16 officials to arrange further interviews in connection with these proceedings.
Back in August the committee had warned that it was important to note that the investigations were still ongoing, and that it is therefore possible that further proceedings could be opened in the future.
Now it has been revealed that FIFA is investigating the other 15 Caribbean officials it suspects were offered or accepted $40 000 cash payments to back bin Hammam’s challenge to FIFA’s President Sepp Blatter.
Those cases are likely to be heard next month, (October).
Klass was the only one of the 16 to be suspended pending a hearing after FIFA cited “consideration of the specific information received on this matter.”
He is a longtime ally of former FIFA vice president Jack Warner of Trinidad, who ran Caribbean football for three decades until resigning in June, 2011. FIFA then dropped its investigation into the Trinidad and Tobago government minister’s role in bin Hammam’s campaign visit to Port of Spain in May.
Klass, who sat on the Caribbean Football Union executive committee, attended the meeting where members heard the Qatari candidate’s pitch.
Whistleblowers’ statements said Klass was present as officials later queued to receive a gift distributed by CFU staffers.
Witnesses said they were given brown envelopes filled with four piles of $100 bills.
The 16 officials named back then were as follows:
David Hinds, Mark Bob Forde (Barbados)
Franka Pickering, Aubrey Liburd (British Virgin Islands)
David Frederick (Cayman Islands)
Osiris Guzman, Felix Ledesma (Dominican Republic)
Colin Klass, Noel Adonis (Guyana)
Yves Jean-Bart (Haiti)
Anthony Johnson (St. Kitts and Nevis)
Patrick Mathurin (St. Lucia)
Joseph Delves, Ian Hypolite (St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
Richard Groden (Trinidad and Tobago)
Hillaren Frederick (US Virgin Islands)
(Parts of this article were written from releases by FIFA.com)