FIFA has sanctioned the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) and its president, Alfredo Whittaker, for several breaches during Cayman’s World Cup qualifier match against Canada in March.
A press release issued by FIFA on Friday stated, “as a consequence, the CIFA has been sanctioned with a fine in the amount of CHF 50,000 and Mr Whittaker has been banned from exercising any official activity in connection with the national-team competition matches of the CIFA for six months.”
It added; “CIFA has been found guilty of neglecting to provide the required safeguards for the health and safety of all involved in the fixture, and of having failed to comply with and implement the safety precautions demanded by FIFA. In particular, the match, which was originally scheduled to take place on 28 March 2021, had to be postponed by a day because Mr Whittaker – who was also the CIFA team manager – did not present the PCR test results of the Cayman Islands national-team players and team officials as per the standard protocol. Furthermore, Mr Whittaker, by way of his conduct, has been found guilty of misconduct and inappropriate behaviour towards a match official, in addition to having demonstrated disregard for the establishment of the safety of the players, officers and referees involved in the match in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Cayman Islands national team left the Owen Roberts International Airport Saturday (May 29) morning to play their remaining World Cup qualifying matches against Aruba on Wednesday and then Bermuda the following Tuesday.
According to several sources, the decision made by FIFA Disciplinary Committee came as a shock to both the national players, and CIFA officials.
The sanctioned is based around breaches of articles 16 (Order and security at matches) 12 (Misconduct of players and officials) and 11 (Offensive behaviour and violations of the principles of fair play) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (2019 edition).
The latter breach is in regard to failing to respect the provisions of FIFA’s Return to Football – International Match Protocol, read in conjunction with the Regulations for the FIFA World Cup 2022™ Preliminary Competition, including the COVID-19 Regulations.
In its decision, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee took into account the concerted efforts made by FIFA’s member associations, the confederations and other stakeholders to secure the successful resumption of football in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A disciplinary overview relating to the most recent FIFA World Cup™ preliminary-competition matches is available here.