Following the indictment of three consecutive presidents, soccer’s governing body in the Caribbean and Central America has decided to hold off on appointing a new leader.
A year of turmoil for CONCACAF culminated last week with the arrest of its most recent president, Alfredo Hawit of Honduras.
That development came on the same day as U.S. prosecutors revealed his predecessor, Cayman’s Jeffrey Webb, had admitted involvement in the bribery and racketeering scam that has rocked the world game.
Jack Warner, who held the role before Webb, is awaiting extradition from Trinidad on multiple corruption charges.
In a statement this week, CONCACAF’s executive committee said it would not attempt to appoint a successor. Instead, the committee will lead the organization collectively until a new president is democratically elected at its congress in Mexico City in May.
“In light of current events, it is critical that the confederation’s next president be determined by a public election and the scrutiny that comes with it,” the committee said in a statement.
The current executive committee members, Justino Compean, Horace Burrell, Sunil Gulati, Pedro Chaluja, Luis Hernandez, Victor Montagliani, and Sonia Bien-Aime, will oversee the confederation’s operations and serve in an advisory capacity to CONCACAF’s acting general secretary, Ted Howard, the statement said.
Burrell, the Jamaican football official, said, “It is critical for the confederation’s future that the next president be elected by the full congress, rather than statutorily appointed.
“Under this leadership structure, CONCACAF can ensure there is sufficient time to publicly vet candidates while the confederation focuses on continued implementation of strong reforms.”
CONCACAF’s statements came in the aftermath of a press conference last week, during which U.S. law enforcement officials warned they would not let up in their pursuit of corrupt soccer officials.
Robert Capers, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said, “Let me make it clear and amplify the message even more. We are progressing in our efforts to root out what has been decades of systemic corruption so we say to you, enough is enough.
“If you are involved in or have the desire to partake now is not the time to hold on to power or seek to gain power. Now is the time to step away and make room for a new generation of leaders who we hope will give soccer and its millions of fans the leadership they richly deserve.”