Cayman authorities arrest FIFA-connected official


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Allegations of money laundering and corruption have been leveled at Canover Watson, a member of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee and the vice president of the Caribbean Football Union.

FIFA, the global governing body for international soccer, has been dogged by allegations of corruption, and while Watson’s troubles do not relate to his work for FIFA, his membership on FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee has drawn attention because the committee is responsible for the “completeness and reliability of the financial accounting.” The allegations against Watson relate to his work with the Cayman Islands’ Health Service Authority.

According to a report this week by Reuters, the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating Watson for allegations related to “breach of trust” contrary to the Cayman Islands’ anti-corruption laws, conflict of interest, and related matters during his work for the Cayman’s Health Service Authority. According to reports, FIFA has requested an explanation from Watson, who was arrested by Cayman authorities and then released on bail.

For FIFA, allegations of corruption among its leadership is commonplace. Recent persistent allegations include accusations of bribery related to the awarding of the World Cup tournament to Russia in 2018 and to Qatar in 2022. FIFA uses a notoriously secretive voting process, and nations submitting bids spend lavishly to promote their proposals.