WARNER’S INDICTMENT FIFA says Gordon Derrick, the general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association, has failed an integrity check and won’t be allowed to run for president of CONCACAF, the sport’s regional governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean. Domenico Scala, chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, said in a statement yesterday that Derrick had been disqualified, but added that “for privacy reasons, we are not in a position to go into further details.” Derrick also is president of the Caribbean Football Union. In November 2011, FIFA’s ethics committee gave Derrick a reprimand and fined him 300 Swiss francs (then US$328) as part of sanctions announced for “apparent violations” of its ethics code that occurred at a CFU meeting on May 10-11 that year. Football officials were alleged to have been offered or to have received $40,000 cash payments there during Mohamed bin Hammam’s campaign for FIFA president. FIFA did not specify the violation Derrick committed. CONCACAF’s president is automatically a FIFA vice-president and member of FIFA’s ruling executive committee, which is being renamed the FIFA council. The disqualification leaves Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani and Bermuda Football Association president Larry Mussenden as the only candidates. Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago, CONCACAF’s president from 1983-2011, was indicted by a US grand jury in New York City last May on charges of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy and money laundering. He is fighting extradition. He was succeeded by Jeffrey Webb, who headed CONCACAF from 2012 until he was indicted last May. He pleaded guilty November 23 to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy, and agreed to forfeit more than $6.7 million. Alfredo Hawit of Honduras replaced Webb and was indicted in November. He pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of wire fraud conspiracy and one count each of racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct justice. CONCACAF said Luis Hernandez of Cuba and John Krishnadath were running for FIFA council member from the Caribbean, and Pedro Chaluja of Panama was running unopposed for council member for the Caribbean. Sonia Bien-Aime of Turks and Caicos, elected as the Caribbean’s member of the FIFA executive committee last July, is running for CONCACAF’s female member of the new council against Joanne Salazar of Trinidad and Tobago.
Reflecting on the devastation caused by several natural disasters in the Caribbean during 2017, incoming Chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Haitian President Jovenel Moïse says the regional grouping is moving towards creating the world’s first climate-resilient region in the year ahead.“2018 dawns for the Caribbean Community, with the prospect of seizing an opportunity out of a crisis. As we begin the rebuilding process after the devastating hurricanes of last September, as well as Hurricane Matthew, which pounded the region on October 3-4 , 2016, we do so with the aim of creating the first climate-resilient region in the world,” Moïse said in his New Year’s message.According to the new Caricom leader, it is an absolute necessity to create a climate-smart region given the effects of climate change which have brought droughts, mega hurricanes, heavy floods and unusual weather patterns, all of which adversely affect our development.Haiti’s President and incoming Chairman of Caricom, Jovenel Moïse“The social and economic gains that we have made individually and collectively must be protected against the onslaught of nature. The Caricom Member States’, as well as the Region’s non-Member States’ production of greenhouse gases, is practically nil, even though they bear a disproportionate share of the consequences,” he further stated.Moïse stated too that the goodwill and pledges which have been forthcoming from the international community at two major global conferences in New York and Paris gave the Region hope that the necessary support to achieve its objective would be forthcoming.“Our efforts are against the backdrop of the Caribbean Community Strategic Plan for the period 2015-19, which is our guide towards the economic, social, environmental and technological resilience that is needed to produce sustained growth and development for our Community,” he added.CSMEThis year, Moïse said, will increase the Region’s efforts to make the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) more effective at providing the basis for its economic growth.“Many of the major legislative and administrative measures for the operations of the Single Market are in effect. Therefore, it is now up to all of the stakeholders in the Public and Private Sectors to ensure we derive the maximum benefit from its provisions.”He said this would help to increase intra-regional trade, share the best human resources, and encourage entrepreneurs to expand their interests and provide the Region with a platform to move from market access to market presence in those countries with which Member States have trade agreements.The CSME, undoubtedly, according to Moïse, remains the best vehicle for creating the economic resilience we need. “The reform process underway in our Community will allow us to conduct our affairs more efficiently and effectively and will also benefit the operations of the CSME. Our Member States, Regional Institutions and the Secretariat have been streamlining their interactions to produce the best possible results from the decisions taken by the Heads of Government and the Ministerial Councils. We are entering the final two years of the Strategic Plan and the results of the three partners’ efforts at implementing it are beginning to bear fruit.”But Moïse warned that the solidity and efficiency of that partnership would be “tested as never before given the magnitude of the rebuilding task ahead of us. We have to rebuild with resilience now to forestall damage in the future; in other words, to build back better. I am confident that the creativity and determination of our people will allow us to achieve that goal.”Moïse thanked his predecessor, the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr Keith Mitchell, for his “outstanding performance in leading the Community during one of the most difficult periods in our history.“I look forward to building on his achievements,” he said. “With assistance from all, we shall maintain our Community on a path to sustainable development and a safe, secure, viable and prosperous society.”Moïse said among issues he intended to advance during his tenure were those related to natural disasters and climate change.He said Haiti looked forward to welcoming the Community to its shores in February for the 29th Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government.“The warmth and hospitality of the Haitian people await you,” he said, while wishing all Caricom citizens “a very happy and productive New Year, as we work together to continue building a resilient Community that advances the interests of all its citizens.”