FIFA Grants Seen Wasted As Sepp Blatter Roadshow Arrives In Caribbean
FIFA President Sepp Blatter arrived in the Caribbean this week "seeking to tighten financial oversight" in a region where some projects funded by grants from the governing body "floundered," according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. A plan "to develop a national team for the Turks and Caicos Islands 'in the middle of nowhere' flopped," according to former squad member Chris Gannon. FIFA said in April it has had “difficulties” with projects on Antigua: an undated picture on its website of a planned $400,000 field shows "a waterlogged plot of disused land." Blatter began meeting with officials from 22 Caribbean football associations and the U.S. and Canada at a five-day seminar in the Cayman Islands Monday. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said that the trip "is part of a global roadshow that aims to ensure Blatter’s reforms to increase accountability and transparency reach national federations." Valcke: “FIFA cannot work at the top of the pyramid if at the bottom of the pyramid the member associations don’t have the same level of organization.” The Caribbean associations are part of the CONCACAF confederation, which also oversees football in North and Central America. The region has received $260M of FIFA’s developments funds that have totaled about $2B since '99 (BLOOMBERG, 10/21).