WARNER’S INDICTMENT 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. 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.
Month: February 2020
NEW VERSION OF CRICKET The International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 tournament of 2016 is behind us and despite many events of its kind – and many successful ones at that – the world of cricket can truthfully say that this one was a tremendous success. Maybe it was the different types of pitches found in India this time around and maybe it was the different kinds of bowling, especially the presence of right-arm leg-spin bowling, which made it so successful. Maybe it was the quality of batting throughout, the tournament and the brilliance of the fielding which lifted the standard and thus the excitement throughout and maybe it was the energy and performance of the minnows which caused it all. Maybe it was, in the final analysis, the performance of the big hitters of the West Indies which made the difference and the stylish and dramatic way in which they ended the tournament on a winning note, with the ball disappearing into the outskirts of Kolkata. Maybe it was simply an improving mindset by the players. Whatever it was that caused it, it was a tournament to remember and to duplicate and, at least, the next time around. For years now, and but for a few changes, cricket has remained the same. It has been basically the same teams, with nothing new to add spice and colour to the scenery. Cricket, it is said, is a hard game to learn, but that is Test cricket. RANKED NO. 3 T20 cricket is ranked number three in the general scheme of things. It is played regularly in local competitions, hardly in international competitions and up to last month, it was played every two years as a world tournament. Regrettably, it is scheduled for every four years as of the next time. T20 cricket is big business. It is, however, easy to play, it is fun, it caters to the spectators, and although the players, including the West Indies players, or most of them, prefer the Test version, it is the most popular format today. T20 cricket is ideal as a tool to spread the game. The minnows can upset the ‘big boys’ occasionally, just as how The Netherlands defeated England in both the 50-over World Cup and the World Twenty 20 and just as how Afghanistan defeated the West Indies a few weeks ago in the World Twenty20. Those defeats were embarrassing for England and that defeat was also embarrassing for the soon-to-be crowned world champions, West Indies, a few days ago. They added to the excitement of the tournament, however, and as far as The Netherlands and Afghanistan are concerned, they contributed to the growth of the game. The ICC has a duty to its minnows and a responsibility to cricket to let them loose and offer them more opportunities. This is the time to allow cricket to grow. There is a new version of cricket, however. It is T20 cricket. It is taking over like wildfire and it has given those in charge the opportunity to spread their wings, to cover the whole wide world. For years now, there has been a call to add more teams to cricket and there has always been a counterclaim by the ‘big shots’ of cricket that the game would be too one-sided if that was done. There is no doubt that was true. Can you imagine a Test match between Australia and Canada at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and, at end of day two, at the end of the first innings, the scoreboard read: Australia 400 for one or two declared, Canada70 and 20 for five? Who would watch this match and who would pay for the exercise? Based on their performances over the years and their performance this year, however, the minnows, or some of them Ireland, the Netherlands, Oman, Afghanistan, Scotland, Hong Kong and Kenya, deserve their places. And so do others like Papua, New Guinea, Canada and the USA. If they never get to compete, no one will ever know of them, just as we would never have known of players like Mohammad Shahzar; Afghanistan’s batsman Kyle Coetzer; Scotland’s batsman Zeeshan Maqsood; Oman’s batsman Dawlat Zadran; Afghanistan’s pacer and one of the real finds of the tournament, Afghanistan’s young right-arm leg-spinner Rashid Khan. And what of countries like China, Argentina and even Brazil if they so desire? T20 cricket is made for them.