News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Thurs. May 28, 2015: One thing that is true about the arrested CONCACAF president Jeffery Webb. He is not nearly as famous as his predecessor, Jack Warner. But on Wednesday his name was splashed around the world with Warner’s after being indicted and arrested for corruption at the world’s governing soccer body.
Here are a few facts you may not know about Webb.
Webb was born in Georgetown, the capital of the Cayman Islands in 1964. He was an alumni of the Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida. His career in football spans almost three decades and he was appointed as President of the Cayman Islands Football Association in 1991.
Webb was a business development manager at Fidelity Bank (Cayman) Limited, a subsidiary of Fidelity Bank & Trust International Limited, which is involved in retail banking, investment banking, corporate finance and asset management.
Webb also co-owns a franchise of Burrell’s bakery chain “Captain’s Bakery” in the Cayman Islands.
The Burrell chain is owned by Jamaican Horace G. Burrell, also known as ‘Captain Burrell,’ who is the president of the Jamaica Football Federation, and a vice-president of CONCACAF.
On October 14, 2011, the FIFA Ethics Committee banned Burrell for a period of six months because he was involved in the Caribbean Football Union corruption scandal. The Ethics Committee suspended three months of the ban, subject to a probationary period of two years.
Webb is the fourth President in the Confederation’s history and the youngest leader of any regional association within FIFA to reach this position. He became CONCACAF president, a FIFA vice-president and exco member in May 2012, after Warner resigned following the scandal over the $40,000 payments. He was viewed as a potential successor to Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency
Within FIFA’s governing body, in 2002 Webb became Deputy Chairman of the FIFA Internal Audit Committee and subsequently Chairman in 2011. He is a former member of FIFA’s Transparency and Compliance Committee and, most recently, was appointed as member of FIFA’s Strategic, Finance, Organizing World Cup and Emergency Committees.
Interestingly, on the CONCACAF website, a bio insisted “his core focus is to restructure the Confederation by building solid foundations to manage, develop and promote the game with a resilient commitment to inclusiveness, accountability and transparency.”
In September last year, Webb was one of several FIFA officials to brazenly call for the publication of the Michael Garcia Report, into allegations of corruption in world association football that was commissioned by FIFA in July 2012. The allegations of corruption surrounded Russia and Qatar’s bids for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.
His last tweet was on May 26th when he unveiled the CONCACAF Boys’ U-15 Championship logo with telecommunications sponsor LIME.
Webb is accused by U.S. authorities of brazen corruption including being paid bribes that went into building a swimming pool at his house.
The bribes are alleged to have been paid by the sports marketing company Traffic USA, in return for being awarded TV and marketing rights for the Caribbean countries’ qualifying matches in the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Webb is said to have wanted a $3m bribe in return for ensuring the CFU did that deal with Traffic.
The $3m payment is alleged to have been arranged with another of the defendants, Costas Takkas, a UK citizen and the general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association, who is described as a close associate of Webb.
Takkas is said to have been paid by installments into various accounts, including in the Cayman Islands, intended it is alleged, “to conceal the fact” ( that) Webb was the beneficiary of the payment”.
Takkas is accused of wiring some of the money to an account of his in Miami. Then, the indictment alleges: “Takkas subsequently transferred the funds to an account in the name of a swimming pool builder at United Community Bank in Blairsville, Georgia [USA], for the benefit of the defendant Jeffrey Webb, who was having a pool built at his residence.”