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SVGFF General Secretary to appeal suspension and fine

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General Secretary of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) Ian Hypolite has been fined and suspended for a period of 30 days from taking part in any football-related activity, by FIFA, the international governing body of football associations.{{more}}

FIFA’s Ethics Committee fined Hypolite 300 Swiss francs, to be paid in 18 months, and said that they will suspend 15 days of his 30-day ban, subject to a probationary period of six months.

This ruling was officially communicated last Friday, October 14, but Hypolite, in an interview with SEARCHILGHT, says he plans to appeal.

According to the decision handed down by the Ethics Committee, Hypolite failed to show loyalty to FIFA and report to FIFA violations of conduct which occurred at a Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Special Meeting, held in Trinidad and Tobago May 10 and 11, this year.

Furthermore, Hypolite was found guilty of not observing the FIFA statutes as a General Secretary, in his awareness and commitment to his responsibilities.

This ruling followed a probe by FIFA into apparent violations of the Code of Ethics, connected to the investigation of the cases related to the special meeting in May.

Hypolite, who travelled to Zurich, Switzerland early last week to answer the charges, told SEARCHLIGHT he intends to appeal the decision, as he is not guilty of any wrongdoing.

Hypolite attended the May 10 and 11 meeting in his capacity as General Secretary of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF), along with former President of the SVGFF, Joseph Delves.

At the special meeting, former FIFA presidential candidate Qatari Mohammed bin Hammam is alleged to have offered the CFU officials US$40,000, in what was considered a cash for vote ploy.

The meeting was arranged by former CFU, CONCACAF and FIFA strong man, Trinidadian Austin “Jack” Warner, for Hammam, who was to have challenged Joseph Sepp Blatter in the May 31 elections; however, Hammam withdrew from the race, and was later slapped by a life-time ban by the FIFA Ethics Committee.

Warner, who was to have faced the Ethics Committee, resigned in June, and all charges against him were dropped, as the probe widened.

In handing down judgement last Friday, the committee said the case against Delves was closed, since he is no longer a Football official. But should Delves return to any official football position, his case would once again be examined by the Ethics Committee.

David Frederick of the Cayman Islands received the same ruling as Delves.

Receiving a similar punishment as Hypolite was Franka Pickering of the British Virgin Islands, but Pickering was fined 500 Swiss Francs.

Horace Burrell, President of the Jamaica Football Federation has been banned for a period of six months. The Ethics Committee decided to suspend three months of the ban, subject to a probationary period of two years.

David Hinds and Mark Bob Forde of Barbados, Richard Groden (Trinidad and Tobago), Yves Jean-Bart (Haiti) and Horace Reid (Jamaica) simply received warnings.

Aubrey Liburd of the British Virgin Islands received a reprimand and a fine of 300 Swiss Francs, likewise Hillaren Frederick of the US Virgin Islands and Anthony Johnson of St. Kitts and Nevis were reprimanded but not fined.

Felix Ledesma of the Dominican Republic was considered not to have committed any violation, but the hearing of Noel Adonis of Guyana has been postponed, while in the case of Patrick Mathurin of St. Lucia, more information is required and therefore no decision has been taken at this stage.

Prior to last Friday’s ruling, then President of the Guyana Football Association, Colin Klass was suspended for two years and two months for his part in the meeting and was fined 5,000 Swiss francs (US$5,500).

CFU employees Trinidadians Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester in July received a one-year ban from FIFA for their role in the meeting.

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