Jamaica Football Federation president Captain Horace Burrell has endorsed Jeff Webb, President of the Cayman Islands FA, to replace ousted long-time leader Austin ‘Jack’ Warner as president of the North, Central American and Caribbean region (CONCACAF).
CONCACAF will elect a new president on 23 May when it stages a congress ahead of the two-day FIFA Congress in Budapest, Hungary.
“I have decided to throw my support behind Jeff Webb,” Burrell said. “He has asked for my support and having done a lot of work in the recent months I’ve decided to give him that support.”
Burrell, who was also seen as a possible candidate for the region’s top job, does not want the top job. “It is very important for someone from the Caribbean Football Union to lead CONCACAF because over the years we’ve discovered that the Caribbean is a very diverse community in so far as the whole football development is concerned, and having a Caribbean person as head of CONCACAF would always be a great help to the enhancement of football throughout the region.
“The reason is I guess the Caribbean would understand the difficulties that each other face and hence, can sometimes tailor programmes to assist. It is one region and we intend to move forward with unity, but I also believe it is important to have a leader from the Caribbean, which makes up the majority of the CONCACAF, and we think that this is the way to go.”
Warner, whose term was to run until 2015, resigned last June to avoid a bribery probe, following the cash-for-votes scandal that rocked the sport in the Caribbean resulting in a number of officials being sanctioned, including Burrell.
Warner, the Trinidad and Tobago minister of works, was in charge of the sport in various leadership capacities in the CONCACAF region for almost 30 years.
But what has come of Burrell’s leadership aspiration? He said: “At this time I have decided to throw my support behind Webb at the CONCACAF level so that I can concentrate on the Caribbean region as a whole.
“I think that very strong leadership is needed at this time within the Caribbean region and I fully understand the dynamics of the region and it would be sad not to devote my all to developing the Caribbean region and so my concentration at this time is to work with our people in the region.”
Honduras’ football head Alfredo Hawitt has been acting as president of CONCACAF since last year. The next president will complete Warner’s term, and CONCACAF member associations may nominate candidates for the position up to 60 days before the Congress.