BFA duo silent
MUM’S THE WORD when it comes to the evidence that two Barbadian football officials gave to FIFA yesterday about a bribery scandal that has rocked the sport’s governing body to its core.
Barbados Football Association (BFA) general secretary David Hinds and long-standing FIFA referee Mark “Bob” Forde both provided FIFA with evidence yesterday regarding one of the sport’s darkest hours, but neither the public nor the Press was allowed to be part of the process.
And few details were forthcoming.
“I can’t talk about that at all.
It’s over. That’s it,” a tight-lipped Forde told the MIDWEEK NATION yesterday, hours after providing FIFA with his side of the story.
Numerous attempts were also made to contact Hinds, but he remained unavailable for comment.
The actual evidentiary hearing proved to be this island’s best-kept secret. Hinds and Forde both provided videotaped evidence to the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) at a still undisclosed location.
The MIDWEEK NATION can reveal that yesterday’s video-conference with members of FIFA’s Ethics Committee was held sometime before 6 a.m. due to the time difference between Barbados and Zurich, Switzerland, where FIFA is headquartered.
Barbados is six hours behind most European countries at this time of year.
The supposed venue for the conference had been tabbed as the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill Campus but a source there said though video-conference facilities were available, there was no paperwork indicating the institution had been booked.
“No official here has been able to provide me with information which would point to any facility here being booked for such a conference,” the source said. “If it was booked, then it would have been a complete secret to the people involved.”
Hinds and Forde testified via video-conference because of the high financial costs involved in travelling to Switzerland.
FIFA said yesterday that its Ethics Committee would hear the BFA officials’ testimony over three days and should deliver its verdicts by Friday.
The pair’s evidence is just the latest twist to a cash-for-votes bribery scandal that derived from a special CONCACAF meeting held in Trinidad and Tobago in May this year.
At that meeting, attended by Hinds and Forde, it is purported that envelopes containing US$40 000 were offered to Caribbean delegates in return for votes in FIFA’s presidential election.