MIAMI: CONCACAF has decided not to appoint an interim president with its last three incumbents all facing indictments in the multi-million-dollar FIFAGate football corruption case being processed by the United States Department of Justice.
Honduran Alfredo Hawit was detained in Zurich last Thursday, predecessor is under house arrest in the United States after admitting various charges and Jack Warner is fighting to avoid extradition from Trinidad.
The executive committee of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football has voted unanimously to operate through the exco members as a whole until a new leader is democratically elected by its member associations.
Such a vote will not take place until the congress on May 12 in Mexico City.
A CONCACAF statement said: “The exco concluded that, 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.”
Current 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 acting general secretary, Ted Howard, and director-level staff.
Mexico’s Compean, who would have been next in line for the presidency, said: “CONCACAF must maintain stability in the confederation’s day-to-day operations. This interim leadership structure demonstrates the exco’s unity and allows us to serve our member associations with a high level of efficiency, transparency, and accountability.”
Burrell added: “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.”
Hawit was named in last week’s indictment for taking a $250,000 bribe to exploit his position of influence when first made acting CONCACAF president in 2011 after FIFA suspended Warner for bribery.
He was also implicated in a separate conspiracy with Miami-based agency Media World over broadcast rights for World Cup qualifying matches concerning the Honduras national team.
Hawit is in detention in Switzerland pending a US extradition application.