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TTFF President Oliver Camps.Oliver Camps, president of Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF), will not be utilising the 48-hour grace period provided by FIFA for Caribbean Football Union (CFU) heads to give their “truthful and complete” versions of the event of the infamous May 10-11 meeting in Trinidad.

With FIFA banning former Asian football president Mohamed bin Hammam for life for allegedly giving US$40,000 bribes to several CFU officials as cash for votes to support his abandoned presidential campaign, the spotlight has now been turned to those who FIFA believe received bribes.

On Monday, football’s governing body sent letters giving the attendees of the controversial conference until today to explain what happened or face possible life bans from football.

“Following this 48-hour period, the ethics committee will be asked to open the necessary ethics proceedings,” FIFA said.

“Any person who has relevant information but does not come forward during this 48-hour period will be subject to the full range of sanctions. Truthful and complete reporting will be considered in mitigation by the ethics committee when deciding on potential sanctions.”

But speaking to Newsday yesterday, Camps stated emphatically that he did not need any last chance to tell the truth since he did so in Miami about a month ago.

“I already went to Miami and gave my evidence almost a month ago. I don’t have to (send any more reports),” he said.

The TTFF boss reiterated his statement made on June 9 earlier this year that neither him nor his delegates received bribes from bin Hammam even though the Qatari has been found guilty by the FIFA ethics committee.

In a media release on June 9, Camps declared, “the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation...wishes to explicitly state that none of its delegates were offered any inducements, bribes or gifts to supports any of the candidates during the meeting.” Yesterday he did not waiver from his earlier statement.

“I spoke the truth then and I stand by it,” he said.

Camps was reluctant, however, to give his opinion on whether bin Hammam’s punishment was justified.

“I have no comment on that. He knew what he did do and what he did not do. If he wants to, he can appeal,” he added.

Camps, although previously declaring his organisation’s refusal to participate in a “witch-hunt” by the “whims and fancies of those who want to destroy the name of our great Confederation”, yesterday backtracked and declared his support for FIFA’s due process.

“I’m not too sure it’s any witch-hunt. They are doing their investigations. FIFA are trying to keep things above board,” he explained.

FIFA bin Hammam CFU probe
FIFA awaits T&T meeting report today
T&T Guardian Reports.

The Football Federation of Trinidad and Tobago is one of 25 members within the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) that has until today to submit a report to FIFA. On Monday FIFA started further investigation into the meeting of Caribbean football officials which took place on May 10 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain and led to Mohamed bin Hammam being banned from football for life.

Football’s governing body has sought information from all Caribbean Football Union (CFU) member associations about the meeting in Trinidad and Tobago on May 10-11. It was during that meeting that bin Hammam was alleged to have offered bribes to Caribbean football associations in exchange for votes in his later-abandoned FIFA presidency bid.

He was found guilty of corruption and banned for life by FIFA’s ethics committee on Saturday. Bin Hammam says he will appeal. FIFA said in a statement: “FIFA has sent a letter yesterday 25 July to all CFU associations, asking the associations, their presidents, and any of their members with knowledge of anything that transpired during the meetings held on 10 and 11 May in Trinidad and Tobago, to provide and report all relevant information in their possession within 48 hours.

“Truthful and complete reporting will be considered in mitigation by the ethics committee when deciding on potential sanctions.” “Any person who has relevant information but does not come forward during this 48 hour period will be subject to the full range of sanctions.” “Following this 48 hour period, the FIFA Ethics Committee will be asked to open the necessary ethics proceedings,” FIFA said.

Cuba was the only CFY member association which did not attend the meeting on 10 and 11 May, where bin Hammam spoke about his campaign to replace Sepp Blatter as Fifa president. Officials from nine associations told investigators last month they were given or offered cash gifts. The other 15 denied receiving any cash gifts or refused to meet investigators. Four associations did not respond to invitations to meet investigators—Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Montserrat.

A further 11 associations did send officials to meet investigators but denied receiving cash gifts. They were: Barbados, Guyana, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and United States Virgin Islands.

Former Asian Football Confederation chief bin Hammam was the most senior official to be banned by Fifa in its 107-year history, but told the BBC on Sunday: “Let me make this clear—I have never paid money for votes in all my life.” The 62-year-old intends to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

TIMELINE

•March 18, 2011—bin Hammam announces Fifa presidency campaign.
•May 25—Fifa announces it is to investigate four officials - including Bin Hammam and vice-president Jack •Warner—following bribery allegations.
•May 27—Bin Hammam suggests Blatter knew about alleged bribery payments, and there is a conspiracy to stop his campaign.
•May 29—Bin Hammam withdraws his candidacy but vows to clear his name over allegations. Fifa suspends Bin Hammam and Warner from all football-related activity and opens full investigation.
•June 1—Blatter re-elected as Fifa president
•June 20—Warner resigns from posts in international football, therefore avoiding investigation
•July 23—Fifa bans bin Hammam from football-related activity for life

“Truthful and complete reporting will be considered in mitigation by the ethics committee when deciding on potential sanctions. “Any person who has relevant information but does not come forward during this 48-hour period will be subject to the full range of sanctions. “Following this 48-hour period, the ethics committee will be asked to open the necessary ethics proceedings.”

No probe on Jack—Gibbs
T&T Guardian Reports.

There’s so far no move to launch any local probe against Jack Warner in connection with the FIFA investigation which found Mohammed bin Hammam guilty on bribery allegations, Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs has indicated.

Gibbs was asked about the situation after FIFA’s verdict against bin Hammam was issued last weekend. Warner was initially bin Hammam’s co-accused in the allegations. He subsequently resigned from FIFA and was not part of the investigation.

PNM senator Fitzgerald Hinds had written Gibbs a month ago, seeking the probe on Warner. Gibbs said then he was awaiting information from FIFA. Hinds last Sunday called for Gibbs to move forward with it, after the FIFA verdict against bin Hammam who was being investigated for allegedly offering regional football representatives bribes of US$40,000 at a May 10 meeting at the Hyatt to support his bid for the FIFA presidency.

When the allegations broke, bin Hammam shelved his bid for the presidency against FIFA jefe Sepp Blatter. In last weekend’s verdict, FIFA’s Ethics Committee also banned Trinidadians Debbie Minguel and Jason Sylvester of the Caribbean Football Union from FIFA activities for a year.

The committee mandated a second wave of probes against Caribbean football organisations regarding the issue and has given them until today to explain their part in the May meeting. Yesterday, Gibbs confirmed the situation was still on hold where T&T police were concerned. He said it would remain that way until local authorities get some direction from FIFA. Any action, he added, would depend on FIFA’s report. Gibbs said until FIFA said it required T&T police help, action was on hold. Warner has said the issue was not over yet. (GA).