Cayman Islands football chief Jeffrey Webb will become the most powerful man in the sport in the Caribbean and much of the Americas when he is formally appointed president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.
Mr. Webb was the only candidate nominated for CONCACAF’s open presidency position last week and will run unopposed in the upcoming election.
President of the Cayman Islands Football Association for the past 21 years, Mr. Webb received nominations from 29 CONCACAF member associations, though only one was required for his name to be placed on the ballot. The election is on 23 May at the CONCACAF Congress in Budapest, Hungary.
Mr. Webb will replace Jack Warner, from Trinidad and Tobago, who became CONCACAF’s president in 1990 and quit last 20 June during a corruption investigation by FIFA. Mr. Warner and Asian soccer head Mohamed bin Hammam were suspended by FIFA the previous month after they were accused of offering $40,000 cash payments to Caribbean voters during Mr. bin Hammam’s failed campaign to unseat FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Mr. Webb, a 47-year-old banker, will fill the final three years of the four-year term Mr. Warner was elected to last May.
Mr. Webb said: “This will place the Cayman Islands firmly on the map of world football and will hopefully draw everyone’s attention not only to the talent of our players but also to the support and encouragement they receive from the Cayman Islands Football Association to nurture their development in the game.
“Cayman has various well-organised training programmes and youth competitions made up of many dedicated individuals and organisations,” he said. “They do a great job making football accessible to all age groups and abilities and identifying opportunities to help players develop their skills and progress in the game as far as their dreams and their talent can take them.”
Football sports tourism is expected to be another plus for the Cayman Islands with more tournaments staged here and an increase in visiting teams, coaches and players. Alfredo Whittaker is president of the Cayman Islands Referees’ Association. He said: “Jeff becoming CONCACAF president is excellent for us, not only for Cayman, but for the whole of the Caribbean, too.
“Hopefully, we will have more assistance in all aspects of football development and there will be more courses for coaches,” Mr. Whittaker said. “We’re also going to have a direct link to everything that is going on in FIFA and there will be no excuses about fitting any criteria.”
Mr. Webb added: “I would like to acknowledge and thank the CONCACAF member associations from across the Confederation that have demonstrated their confidence in me through their support of my nomination for president. I look forward to working with all of the members to strengthen our foundation and build on our unity which has always been our strength.”
Besides his CIFA commitments, Mr. Webb is chairman of the Caribbean Football Union’s Normalisation Committee and also deputy chairman of FIFA’s Internal Audit Committee and a member of its Transparency and Compliance Committee.
Across CONCACAF’s 51-year history, only three people have occupied the office of president: Ramon Coll Jaumet (Costa Rica, 1961-68), Joaquin Soria Terrazas (Mexico, 1968-90) and Mr. Warner (1990-2011).