FIFA bribery probe: Trinidad and Tobago football chief quits

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 29, 2011 05:30 hrs

Port Of Spain (Trinidad), Oct 29 (IANS/CMC) Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) president Oliver Camps has resigned after FIFA, the sport's world governing body, announced he was one of 10 Caribbean officials facing further investigation for their role in the cash-for-votes scandal.

'While I have been extremely satisfied and pleased to offer myself for service to the T&TFF, the current climate within FIFA has given me reason to rethink my position and thus give notice of my immediate resignation as the president of the T&TFF,' said Camps Friday.

The bribery scandal that forced Qatar's Mohamed Bin Hammam to withdraw from the FIFA presidency race led to a spate of resignations, suspension, fines and reprimands of a number of officials, including Camps' compatriot Jack Warner.

Warner quit as FIFA vice president and Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president in the wake of the controversy.

'I have truly enjoyed working with the football fraternity and appreciated the opportunities which have been given to me through football. But when the price one has to pay includes the sullying of one's name and the denigrating of one's character without a justifiable reason, then I must confess that this is not the place that I would want to be.

'It is certainly a sad day for me and this is far from what I had expected. The changing of the guards was never meant to engender the bitterness that I feel or the pain which has replaced the pleasure of service.'

During his tenure, Camps oversaw T&T's qualification for the 2006 World Cup, and also staged two FIFA age group world tournaments in 2001 and last year, an achievement which he said brought him good memories.

'I will always remember that under my watch, T&T qualified for four World Cup finals and if success as a leader has to be measured in football, it is against this background that I will be judged,' he said.

'I served the game well, even as manager of many national teams, so while I leave football disappointed, I am also happy because history will judge me as the most successful football president of T&T.'

Camps boldly stated that he was not ashamed to be part of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) meeting in his homeland which sparked the bribery scandal.

'(We) met to determine the path to choose a leader for the FIFA,' he said. 'The current situation facing the CFU has made it very clear to me that our choice in meeting to discuss whether president Sepp Blatter would be the preferred option was the right one.

'History will not judge me for being a part of that meeting, neither will it condemn me based on association. Rather, history will applaud all the football leaders of the Caribbean.'

Camps concluded his resignation letter by thanking Warner for his support over the years.

'In him, I see a true leader, a true champion, a Caribbean man, one who was prepared to do whatever was required to keep the Caribbean flag flying with dignity and pride,' he said.

More from Sify: