Caribbean football was facing further strife on Friday after the sport’s world governing body, FIFA, announced that its ethics committee had opened a formal case against Caribbean Football Union president, Gordon Derrick, over corruption allegations.

Derrick, also the general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association, had been investigated by FIFA’s ethics committee over “alleged conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts and other benefits, mismanagement of funds, abuse of position and disloyalty”, and could now face a ban of up to four years and a fine of US$15 000.

FIFA said the report from chief investigator, Dr Cornel Borbély, had been submitted to the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee last week, with a copy also forwarded to Derrick.

The CFU’s top official will be afforded the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations and can also request a hearing, as per FIFA Code of Ethics regulations.

“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee, under its chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert, has opened formal adjudicatory proceedings against the President of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Mr Gordon Derrick, based on the final report submitted by the investigatory chamber,” FIFA said in a statement.

“The investigations concerning Mr Derrick were conducted by Dr Cornel Borbély, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, as the chief of investigation, and focused amongst others on alleged conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts and other benefits, mismanagement of funds, abuse of position and disloyalty.”

The statement continued: “In the final report, which was passed to the adjudicatory chamber on 21 April 2017, Dr Borbély recommended imposing on Mr Derrick a ban of no less than four (4) years from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other), as well as a fine of no less than CHF 15,000 (Swiss francs) for the alleged violation of articles 13 (General rules of conduct), 15 (Loyalty), 19 (Conflicts of interest) and 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

Only last year, Derrick attempted to stand for the vacant post of CONCACAF president but was barred from doing so by FIFA, whose Audit and Compliance Committee said the Antiguan had failed an integrity check.

He subsequently referred the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport who upheld FIFA’s ruling.

Derrick was one of several Caribbean officials reprimanded and fined over “apparent violations” of FIFA’s ethics code, following the infamous cash-for-votes scandal six years ago which crippled regional football.

He replaced Jack Warner as head of CFU after the resignation of the high profile Trinidadian at the height of the controversy. Last July, Derrick was re-elected for a second term.
In its statement Friday, FIFA said there would be a presumption of “innocence until proven guilty”.

“For reasons linked to privacy rights and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the adjudicatory chamber will not publish any further details at the present time.”

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