x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fresh evidence surfaces in Fifa's cash for vote scandal

The president of the Surinam FA has confirmed that he was handed 40,000 dollars, in 100 dollar bills, at a special meeting of the CFU in Trinidad as 'gifts'.

Fresh evidence that Caribbean football officials were given brown envelopes containing "gifts" of US$40,000 (Dh150,000) in cash has been revealed.

A number of associations of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) have denied receiving any cash, while four have said they were offered and refused the money.

Today, the president of the Surinam FA confirmed to Press Association Sport that he was handed 40,000 dollars, in 100 dollar bills, at a special meeting of the CFU in Trinidad on May 10.

Louis Giskus insists however that he was told it was a gift from the CFU to spend on development projects. He said he returned to Surinam that day - missing a meeting the following day when, according to an affidavit submitted to Fifa, association officials were told by CFU president Jack Warner that the cash was a gift from fellow Fifa member Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Warner, who is the longest-serving member of Fifa's executive committee and a senior government minister in Trinidad, and Bin Hammam have both been suspended by the world governing body while Fifa investigates allegations that they paid or offered bribes to officials of the 25 associations that make up the CFU.

Two CFU officials, Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, have also been provisionally suspended. They all deny any wrongdoing.

Giskus said in an interview: "We went up to a room and were given 40,000 dollars in a brown envelope with the name of Surinam on it.

"We were surprised, and asked who the gift was from. Mr Jason Sylvester told us that it was a gift from the CFU for developing football in Surinam.

"We asked once more and were told it was for developing football in our country and that's why we accepted it.

"I asked if we would get problems with Customs leaving Port of Spain with that amount of money and he [Sylvester] told us there would be no problems.

"I wrote his mobile number on the envelope so that if there were any problems at the airport we could call it."

Giskus said he returned to Surinam that evening and the following day, May 11, that he handed the cash over to the federation's treasurer, who banked the money.

An affidavit by the Bahamas FA vice-president Fred Lunn sent to Fifa last month, a copy of which has been seen by Press Association Sport, states that the rest of the CFU members were addressed at a meeting by Warner in Trinidad on that May 11.