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Nakhid vows CAS appeal against FIFA; denies Bin Hammam link

Ex-Trinidad and Tobago football captain David Nakhid is set to take FIFA’s Ad-hoc Electoral Committee to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over his expulsion from the FIFA presidential contest.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago football captain David Nakhid speaks at the 2015 Play The Game conference in Aarhus, Denmark. (Copyright Thomas Søndergaard/Play The Game)
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago football captain David Nakhid speaks at the 2015 Play The Game conference in Aarhus, Denmark.
(Copyright Thomas Søndergaard/Play The Game)

Wired868 understands, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, that Nakhid’s case hinges on the perceived duty of the FIFA committee to the presidential candidates.

On October 23, the Electoral Committee, which is chaired by FIFA official Domenico Scala, allegedly wrote to Nakhid and requested letters of support for the United States Virgin Island (USVI) and another Caribbean member association.

Scala’s letter was in response to a request from Nakhid’s campaign manager, Josanne Leonard, who wanted to know if the Electoral Committee had received all the necessary information for the former St Mary’s College student’s candidacy. Leonard’s email listed the five member associations that supported Nakhid, including the USVI.

Scala’s reply prompted a furious late push from “Team Nakhid” to have the two islands comply with FIFA’s regulations.

What Scala did not tell Nakhid is that, allegedly, the Electoral Committee already had a letter of support from USVI president Hillaren Frederick for another candidate.

Photo: United States Virgin Islands (USVI) president Hillaren Frederick.
Photo: United States Virgin Islands (USVI) president Hillaren Frederick.

And so, once Nakhid provided FIFA with the USVI nomination as requested, his presidential campaign was effectively doomed.

“One of the five declarations of support for Mr Nakhid was declared invalid as the same member association had issued a declaration of support for another candidate,” a FIFA spokesman told Wired868 on October 28. “In view of this, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee decided not to consider Mr Nakhid’s application as it did not fulfil the required five declarations of support.

“Per the eligibility requirements set forth in the electoral regulations 13(1)(c), each member may only present a declaration of support for one person. If a member association presents declarations of support for more than one person, all its declarations shall become invalid.”

The electoral regulations permit a legal challenge though. According to article 8(2): “The decisions of the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee may be appealed against directly with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

Nakhid is likely to argue to CAS that the FIFA committee failed to ensure a fair, equitable and transparent electoral process, due to its apparent failure to relay vital information to the Trinidadian.

Photo: Domenico Scala is the chairman of the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee and Audit and Compliance Committee.
Photo: Domenico Scala is the chairman of the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee and Audit and Compliance Committee.

Nakhid received another broadside yesterday when the UK Sunday Mail wrote that he appeared on “a secret list of recipients of funding from disgraced Qatari official Mohamed Bin Hammam.”

The article, written by investigative journalist Nick Harris, described Nakhid as “widely perceived as a breath of fresh air in the FIFA presidential race.” But then claimed to have paperwork which showed “money distributed from bank accounts controlled by Bin Hammam and includes payments to someone with the name David Nakhid.”

The transfers in question—supposedly made two years before Bin Hammam was suspended for bribing Caribbean officials in the the build-up to the 2011 FIFA presidential election—were US$11,390 (£7,400) in April 2009 and US$11,000 (£7,100) in June 2009. Harris pointed out that Nakhid claimed his presidential campaign was being funded by “family and friends.”

Nakhid denied ever meeting Bin Hammam or receiving any payment from him. He said Harris approached him for comment in Denmark last week during the 2015 Play The Game conference.

“(Harris) showed me on his computer a list of payments made by Bin Hammam to various people and one was to me,” Nakhid told Wired868. “I have never met the guy and never had any payment from him… I said ‘Show me it going to my bank account then’.

Photo: FIFA presidential hopefuls David Nakhid (left) and Jerome Champagne prepare for a discussion at the 2015 Play The Game conference Aarhus, Denmark last week. Nakhid's candidacy was subsequently declared invalid by the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee. (Copyright Thomas Søndergaard/Play The Game)
Photo: FIFA presidential hopefuls David Nakhid (left) and Jerome Champagne prepare for a discussion at the 2015 Play The Game conference Aarhus, Denmark last week.
Nakhid’s candidacy was subsequently declared invalid by the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee.
(Copyright Thomas Søndergaard/Play The Game)

“He got a bit flustered and said ‘we should have that back at headquarters’ but he never produced it. And then I saw he printed the money was given to me in cash…

“Anyone can put a name on a piece of paper. I can put ‘Lasana Liburd’ on a piece of paper and say I paid out to him. But they have to show where you received the money.”

In fact, the Mail article said that Nakhid “denied ever receiving cash from Bin Hammam.”

Nakhid alleged that the investigative piece was meant to taint his campaign and vowed to take legal action.

“They had no idea I would have been cut from the ballot (when Harris spoke to me),” said Nakhid. “And now it re-emerges when they think I might return to the race. This is to put a stain on me because I am the only one without a stain. There is no merit to it at all…

“If I was thinking about the 2015 (FIFA) presidency way back in 2009, then I have a lot of vision. And he tried to make a sparse link with my funding and Bin Hammam. Is he saying that Bin Hammam funded my campaign with about US$20,000?”

Photo: FIFA president Sepp Blatter (left) and ex-Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam. USVI president Hillaren Frederick was one of several Caribbean officials implicated in a bribery scandal related to Bin Hammam's push to the FIFA throne in 2011. (Copyright AFP 2014/Kamarul Akhir)
Photo: FIFA president Sepp Blatter (left) and ex-Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam.
USVI president Hillaren Frederick was one of several Caribbean officials implicated in a bribery scandal related to Bin Hammam’s push to the FIFA throne in 2011.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Kamarul Akhir)

However, Harris insisted that he was only following up on information he received during the course of a parallel investigation and had not imputed improper motives to Nakhid.

“From a personal point of view, in Aarhus, watching him on the platform and speaking to him, I did (and do) feel that David Nakhid is a breath of fresh air in the race,” Harris told Wired868. “It is a mystery why his name is on that list. But not only did I show it to him, and give him a copy, and carried in full his own bemusement at being on that list, but in discussion (on tape too), I also asked if has any explanation why he might be on there. And then sent that follow-up to his agent… which went unresponded.

“The fact that a David Nakhid is on a list people getting money from MBH (Mohamed Bin Hammam) is clearly noteworthy, journalistically, no?”

Harris explained that he works for the Sunday Mail rather than the daily version and, as such, his story was always due to come out on the weekend and had not been timed to coincide with Nakhid’s efforts to re-enter the FIFA presidential race.

Photo: FIFA presidential candidate David Nakhid (left) talks to former Grenada football star and England Premier League forward Jason Roberts during the 2015 CFU Congress in St Maarten. (Courtesy Josanne Leonard)
Photo: FIFA presidential candidate David Nakhid (left) talks to former Grenada football star and England Premier League forward Jason Roberts during the 2015 CFU Congress in St Maarten.
(Courtesy Josanne Leonard)

He also suggested that Nakhid might have misinterpreted several passages in his article and taken away an inaccurate impression of the story.

“I never alleged, at all, either in the meeting or in print that he got money ‘in cash,” said Harris. “The word ‘cash’ is used in the piece as a proxy for money… He quotes me (as) saying ‘we have that back at headquarters’. I never said that and have the tape to prove it. Nor did I become flustered.

“In fact I went out of my way to ask him if he had any ideas how he might be on that list! I can 100 percent reiterate; this paperwork—which I gave to David and his agent—did not come from anyone or anything related to another candidate.

“And yes, I stand by my story, which is that paperwork I’ve got shows that someone called David Nakhid was among recipients of money from MBH in 2009, and that Nakhid denies ever meeting him. That is the story.”

 

Editor’s Note: Story updated to include quotes from Sunday Mail investigative journalist Nick Harris. Click HERE to read initial Sunday Mail story on David Nakhid and Mohamed Bin Hammam.

AboutLasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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68 comments

  1. He’s entitle to defend himself. Let him tru

  2. Well, maybe you should consider looking at the info from a different angle. Yes, Nick Harris actually is an experienced journalist and has history for unearthing stuff.
    Personally, I think it was not that much of a story since he couldn’t really prove anything and had no improper intent.
    But if you still think David Nakhid’s candidacy is so insignificant and yet it is causing so much of a stir, maybe you are missing a piece of the puzzle.

  3. I don’t have a read on Nakhid…..not sure if he’s a legitimate difference maker with genuine intentions or just someone who wants to be heard creating a rumble. I remain curious but unconvinced …….

  4. I’m hoping that the tentacles of JAW not in play here

  5. He’s just standing up for his right..

  6. Did you try to contact the Prez of USVIFA Lasana?

  7. Ok. Do you know anything of this journalist’s reputation? I’m having difficulty believing that a credible investigative journalist would risk his career and rep to throw shade at a long shot candidate.

  8. Nakhid also asked him to provide statements from the said bank account…

  9. Now here’s the thing in that year what was David Nakhid doing that would’ve waranted MBH to give him money? Unless this money was to assist with his coaching school which i highly doubt this all seems very suspect to me

  10. If Harris is correct and can prove he didn’t say 5hose things, that raises more questions.

    • Harris said that he did tell Nakhid that there was more information. But he said it was not in relation to the question about whether he received payment.
      Chinese whispers is the old term for that. You say “I am going to meet Djemba across the street.” And I hear: “I am going to Amanda on fifth street.”
      That’s why reporters use tape recorders. It might not be malicious.

    • Especially when you are thinking back on a one-week old conversation.

  11. I have updated the initial story with quotes from Nick Harris.

  12. Savitri Maharaj, Nick Harris has responded on the record and I updated the story appropriately:
    UPDATE:
    However, Harris insisted that he was only following up on information he received during the course of a parallel investigation and had not imputed improper motives to Nakhid.
    “From a personal point of view, in Aarhus, watching him on the platform and speaking to him, I did (and do) feel that David Nakhid is a breath of fresh air in the race,” Harris told Wired868. “It is a mystery why his name is on that list. But not only did I show it to him, and give him a copy, and carried in full his own bemusement at being on that list, but in discussion (on tape too), I also asked if has any explanation why he might be on there. And then sent that follow-up to his
    agent… which went unresponded.
    “The fact that a David Nakhid is on a list people getting money from MBH (Mohamed Bin Hammam) is clearly noteworthy, journalistically, no?”
    Harris explained that he works for the Sunday Mail rather than the daily version and, as such, his story was always due to come out on the weekend and had not been timed to coincide with Nakhid’s efforts to re-enter the FIFA presidential race.
    He also suggested that Nakhid might have misinterpreted several passages in his article and taken away an inaccurate impression of the story.
    “I never alleged, at all, either in the meeting or in print that he got money ‘in cash,” said Harris. “The word ‘cash’ is used in the piece as a proxy for money… He quotes me saying ‘we have that back at headquarters’. I never said that and have the tape to prove it. Nor did I become flustered.
    “In fact I went out of my way to ask him if he had any ideas how he might be on that list! I can 100 percent reiterate; this paperwork—which I gave to David and his agent—did not come from anyone or anything related to another candidate.
    “And yes, I stand by my story, which is that paperwork I’ve got shows that someone called David Nakhid was among recipients of money from MBH in 2009, and that Nakhid denies ever meeting him. That is the story.”

  13. Doubtful that he did but it’s too late now Chabeth.

  14. Does he have a fifth FA to nominate him in place of the USVI?

  15. Here are the rules of the Election. Read this and then tell me if you think Nakhid has a case.

    http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/president/02/36/81/99/fifaelectoralreg_neutral.pdf

  16. ..CAS is a law unto itself. But also, the presidents of CFU associations hold the key. And many of them, frankly, are playing the game with CONCACAF, which is now controlled by the USSF..

  17. Hey how can we support his bid?

  18. What’s the matter with this guy! It’s not like he’s gonna win the FIFA presidential election Steups!

  19. in my view he may have a valid case, if before he handed in his information the electoral committee knew the USVI had cast their vote for someone else they then should’ve communicated same in the interest of transparency and with sufficient time to secure the vote needed to replace his.
    Also Lasana Liburd does their constitution state that the second nominee is null and void, meaning that a member association cant change their vote and once their vote is cast its locked in?

    • You say they “should have communicated same.” Does that mean that they were required (Legally? According to their mandate? Morally? Ethically? Professionally?) so to do or that it would have been nice if they had done so?
      On these little niceties does the outcome of weighty matters often turn…

      • Bakes

        Perfect explanation/interpretation Earl. The Committee owes no responsibility to any candidate for vetting the bonafides of the candidate’s submission package. That would be both onerous and impractical. It is up to the candidates themselves to perfect their bid to the best of their ability.

        Contrary to what the article states, Nakhid’s bid was not doomed once the VI letter of support was tendered, all that did was to void all of the VI’s letters of support. Nakhid’s candidacy would have survived that fiasco had he more than just the minimum number of supporting letters. Nakhid is being petulant, paranoid and now resorts to grasping at straws.

    • This is all FIFA says: The candidate shall present declarations of support from at least five member associations (cf. art. 24 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes). Being proposed as a candidate by a member association shall be understood asa declaration of support. Each member may only present a declaration of support for one person. If a member association presents declarations of support for more than one person, all its declarations shall become invalid.

  20. Is the Committee required to assess each submission before the closure date and advise if there are issues? I am inclined to doubt that. I wonder at what point did they request letter from Nakhid.

    • They requested a letter from Nakhid three days before the deadline on Oct 26.

    • I saw that on further research. So FIFA responded to a question as to whether all documentation was received and got a response. I find it odd that 3 days before the close of nominations, Nakhid had no idea if his papers were filed properly or not. Sounds jokey to me that he had to rush to get the documents on based on the response.

      Putting that aside, the question is when did the assessment of the documents submitted take place. There is a big difference between counting the letters received and assessing the validity of same. Even responding to whether all the documents were received seems above and beyond the responsibility of the Committee in my opinion. The candidate is responsible for putting his application in order, not the Committee.

      If I draw on the analogy of a tender submission, the responsibility of ensuring that validity of a submission is solely that of the bidder. The Committee’s job is to assess the submission after the closing date.

      Frankly, I think Nakhid was extremely naive and handled this badly. I have no sympathy for him.

    • I don’t see any responsibility of the Electoral Committee stated in the rules and I cannot think of any instance offhand where an Election Committee is mandated to tell a candidate if his application is valid before the closure date for nominations. I can however think of cases where candidates have been disqualified for spoiled nomination submissions.

    • But why would they write to Nakhid and “requested letters of support for the United States Virgin Island (USVI) and another Caribbean member association.” when they already had a nomination from the USVI for someone else. This is the only fishy part to me. Why these 2 specific ones. Is it that Nakhid wasn’t sure they were sent and asked the USVI to resend thereby putting the nail in his own coffin? Or did Scala only have 3 of the nominations and deliberately asked for the USVI one so that it would nullify Nakhid chances on Oct 23rd since they would have known by then that it would be a double nomination? I agree the onus is on the candidate (bidder) to submit a perfect bid. Why wasn’t Nakhid ‘ s team perfectly sure 3 days before nominations closed that everything was in order?

  21. Do you think the Electoral Committee acted appropriately Kendall Tull? Is it a case of what they are mandated to do and what they aren’t?

  22. Better to have tried and failed than to have tried at all

  23. Well lets hope we find out from CAS

  24. Good luck to him but I don’t think much of his chances.

  25. ..Oh. And ask who the other ‘double nominated” candidate was and why they were not rejected as well..

  26. ..One must do the needful but Nakhid not winning this. Tell you what though. Now everybody knows him he might have a platform here to build on for the next CFU election. Is that his real plan?..

  27. Please ensure you have those questions answered. You should know what I think of the Daily Mail…

  28. Mister Liburd, It’s only a matter of time, be warned before your name turns up on a list of people paying money to FIFA or receiving funds from them. Explain to me how else it is possible to get the kind of inside information you get.
    On second thought, don’t explain. Ah fraid they make another CAISO on you next week.