FIFA has sent a letter to Caribbean football officials asking they produce evidence proving they were offered bribes by the former presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam, according to reports.
Sky News claim to have gained a copy of the document, which was sent by the secretary of FIFA’s ethics committee, Marc Cavaliero, to the 25 members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) demanding they attend a three-day tribunal in Miami.
It includes the warning: “Although you are under no obligation to attend such a meeting, pleased be advised that the FIFA Ethics Committee may draw a negative inference in the event that you do not make the arrangements sought herein or do not attend the meeting requested.”However, one Caribbean association has apparently complained to FIFA that the investigation is "biased" towards the USA - one of the defeated bids for the 2022 World Cup. According to the Press Association, the letter of complaint states:
“The investigation is tainted and biased and clearly has a US-driven agenda.”
It asks the FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, to replace Louis Freeh, the ex-FBI director whose agency is investigating the claims against bin Hamman, with a “truly independent investigator and secure a neutral venue for the interview of any Caribbean Football Union member other than the USA”.
It also points out that former USA president Bill Clinton worked on the USA 2022 bid during the time Freeh was FBI director.
Bin Hammam, the president of the Asian Football Federation, stood down from last week’s presidential election hours before he was suspended by FIFA over the bribery allegations.
That led to Blatter facing no challenge in his bid to remain the head of an organisation whose reputation has been severely tarnished by continuing allegations of corruption.
Bin Hammam was suspended alongside Jack Warner, the president of Concacaf, following claims from the American Fifa member, Chuck Blazer, that they had conspired to buy votes from Caribbean officials on behalf of Bin Hammam. Both men deny the accusations against them.