GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CNS) -- The regional football association CONCACAF said it has collectively embraced the proposals for reform from FIFA and member states will vote on the changes during the Extraordinary Congress later this month in Zürich.
But a report by Reuters revealed that the association’s lawyers warned the members last Friday that if they don’t adopt the reforms they will risk more convictions, the freezing of accounts, the forfeiture of CONCACAF assets and even the end of the association.
Most of the indicted officials in the massive FIFA corruption investigation by the US Department of Justice were part of either CONCACAF or CONMEBOL, the South American federation.
Three of CONCACAF’s former presidents have been arrested, including the Cayman Islands’ Jeffrey Webb, who has been convicted of racketeering offences, and former general secretary Chuck Blazer, an American. Jack Warner, Webb’s predecessor, is still fighting extradition to the US from his native Trinidad, while Webb’s successor, Alfredo Hawit from Honduras, was arrested in December in Switzerland and was extradited to the US in January, where he pleaded not guilty to the bribery charges.
Nevertheless, the lawyers told the members that the association itself is still considered a victim by US authorities; however, that position could change if they do not back the reform package and save the future of the regional football body.
CONCACAF said all 41 of its member associations in Friday’s meetings welcomed the reform package and discussions were positive and productive.
“The world of football is at a turning point, and today our membership seized the opportunity to take an important step further down the road towards tangible reform by supporting the reform proposal put forward by FIFA. CONCACAF strongly supports FIFA’s reform efforts and stands willing to work with FIFA to ensure that each proposal is implemented at every level of the game and maintained over time,” officials said in a release from CONCACAF.
Republished with permission of Cayman News Service