Derrick denies wrongdoing, prepares defense for FIFA hearing

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Speaking publicly for the first time since FIFA announced that its adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee had opened formal proceedings against him, General Secretary of the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association, Gordon Derrick, has denied any wrongdoing during his tenure as an employee of the national association.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show on Monday, Derrick, who was careful not to divulge any information critical to his defense set for May, 19, 2017, said that as an employee, his only mandate was to carry out the will of the FA’s executive body and by extension its membership.
“I cannot mortgage the ABFA’s property by myself. Anything to do with football, the decisions must be passed by the executive committee. I am an employee of the association and my job as the [general secretary] is to carry out the objectives of the executive committee body and if I am not doing that they would let me know and they would fire me and reprimand me, or do whatever they want to do with me as an employee,” he said.
Amongst the matters reportedly investigated by FIFA, was the mortgaging of lands, housing the FIFA Goal Project, located in Paynters.  Derrick said the process was started after one club had written to the sport’s governing body suggesting an investigation be launched into the move.
The ABFA had said the decision to mortgage the lands was taken as the body sought the financial support to aid in the senior team’s 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Derrick said the support from the FA’s membership has however been overwhelming since news of the investigation emerged.
“I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of clubs and I was absolutely blown away … and I really feel the love from the clubs. A lot of them have told me that anything they can assist with in my defense to please, let them know and they are fully happy, able and willing to assist in any way they can. I don’t know how they can yet because I am working with my lawyers. But, I am talking well over 50 percent of the clubs have already called,” he said. 
The Antiguan went on to debunk reports that he has resigned as President of the Caribbean Football Union.  “No, I’ve not resigned from the CFU. I’ve recused myself until the conclusion of the matter that’s going on at the moment,” he said while revealing that he will not attend an upcoming FIFA congress as he prepares his defense for later this month. “I have only about two weeks left to get all of my defense in and there is a significant amount of files that I have to go through. I have to make sure I go through everything to make sure I can have my defense in properly and on time.”
 He also said that he has not recused himself as ABFA’s General Secretary. “That’s my job. I work at the ABFA,” Derrick said.
The allegations levelled against Derrick include conflict of interest, offering and accepting gifts and other benefits, mismanagement of funds, abuse of position, and disloyalty.

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