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Delves prepared to fight to the end

Delves prepared to fight to the end


Former President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation Joseph Delves is prepared to fight to the end, in the matter of his alleged involvement in a cash for vote scandal.{{more}}

The issue arose from a special meeting held at the Hyatt Hotel in Trinidad and Tobago on May 10 and 11, involving Qatari Mohammed bin Hammam, who was seeking to be President of FIFA . It is alleged that some Caribbean Union Football members received US$40,000 in brown envelopes, facilitated by bin Hammam.

bin Hammam was trying to unseat incumbent Joseph Blatter at the May 31 FIFA presidential elections.

Delves and the current General Secretary, who attended that meeting, are under investigation by Football’s world governing body FIFA for non disclosure and are set to go before the Ethics Committee in Zurich, Switzerland, in the middle of October.

Delves, while giving his final address as President of the SVGFF last Saturday, said: “I have cooperated with FIFA and will, with the support of CFU and my Caribbean colleagues, pursue this matter through the system to CAS (Court of Arbitration in Sports) if need be.”

Delves, who was delivering the Executive Report at the Annual General Meeting of the SVGFF, held on the second floor of the Golden Apple Restaurant in Kingstown, maintained their innocence about receiving the money.

“It is ridiculous for persons to make the accusation that we took a bribe,” the former SVGFF president asserted.

“Given the huge sums involved in and generated by Football activities, I invite Vincentian footballers and the wider public to ask, ‘Why would anyone ask for, or take $40,000, for their vote,” he reasoned, adding, “This Federation has practised excellent hygiene.”

“The investigation is current and ongoing…. I have been careful not to discuss the specifics of this matter,” he said.

However, Delves revealed that he had handed in his personal documents to the investigators and believes he was the only Caribbean official to have done so.

Delves told last Saturday’s meeting that the SVGFF will not be sanctioned, as any punitive action to be taken will be against him and Hypolite.

Since the scandal blew up in June, bin Hammam has been slapped with a life ban; former FIFA Vice President Austin “Jack” Warner, who was also CFU and CONCACAF boss, also resigned all his posts.

CFU employees Justin Sylvester and Debbie Minguell have received one year bans, and President of the Guyana Football Federation(GFF) Colin Klass received a 26-month ban and was also fined 5,000 Swiss francs (US$5,500).

Klass was found guilty of three breaches of FIFA’s code of ethics, including confidentiality rules and not disclosing evidence of violations of conduct.(RT)