The Caribbean Football Union (CFU) is “well-run”, says president Randy Harris, who has come to the defense of the regional body following a number of accusations made by disgraced former football executive Austin ‘Jack’ Warner.
During a recent interview on the View Point program in Trinidad and Tobago, Warner also made claims that the CFU did not exist.
Warner who once held the positions of vice president of FIFA and president of Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) before his suspension and subsequent resignation in 2011 on corruption charges, also accused the CFU of not having elections in eight years.
In response to those accusations Harris said, “…We always are up-to-date and we have been audited every year for quite a while even before I was in, so I really don’t understand the statement. I don’t know where he is getting his information from but it is very incorrect.
“The CFU office has been in Antigua for quite a while now and it was only moved to Barbados at the end of 2018. The CFU office has not been in Trinidad for quite a while now. Also, there have been three CFU elections since 2012.”
FIFA recently announced a move to take over the administration of the sport in the twin-island republic to restore governance and financial stability to the beleaguered Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA)
Harris explained that FIFA used such measures when there is disruption or other types of problems that would prevent an association from administering its operations in a proper manner.
The TTFA’s funds have been frozen by the law courts in Trinidad after a lawsuit was brought against the association by a former employee.
The CFU boss and CONCACAF vice president said while some members of the TTFA were taking the move personally, he didn’t understand why, as without control of funds it meant the association could not properly function.
“Some Trinidadians are of the belief that the CFU should intervene. I don’t know what we can do because FIFA is in their right to install a mobilisation committee when they deem it fit. If it was a case where FIFA tried to do something with one of our member associations out of the blue, obviously we would be taking a different stance on it,” Harris insisted.
“All of us agree to play under the rules of FIFA. FIFA has been very good in terms of their support financially and developmentally, and basically we can’t take it with one hand and then cry foul when things are not going very well. Neither FIFA nor CONCACAF would allow or recognise any member association or union that is not properly managed, is not compliant, is not up to date with the statute, those things don’t happen anymore. Those things don’t happen anymore because we don’t want to go back to where we came from in 2010 and 2015.
“The CFU or any member association cannot continue to function and be recognised by CONCACAF and FIFA without being properly managed,” he added.
Harris pointed out that other countries such as Guatemala and Guyana had faced mobilisation before.
“Recently Guatemala was on normalization for three years. They have managed to get their act together and there was an election and they are now fully reinstated in the CONCACAF. Guyana some time ago in 2012, 2013 were on the [path to] normalization and they got their act together and then they had their elections.
“They could send in a normalised committee if they are fractions between the elected board of a member association…Once it is preventing the smooth running or operation of a member association, FIFA will take a stance because they are financing the member associations and obviously they have to ensure their funds are well spent for the purpose that it was intended,” Harris said.
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