(CNS): The regional football association CONCACAF says it has collectively embraced the proposals for reform from FIFA and member states, including the Cayman Islands, 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 the 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.
Bruce Blake, Acting President of the Cayman Islands Football Association, is leading Cayman’s delegation to Switzerland next week, when the reforms to address the worldwide football scandal will be under discussion and voted on. The national association will also be voting for a new CONCACAF leader and a FIFA president at the Congress, after Sepp Blatter eventually agreed to step down last year as he was sucked further into the corruption enquiries in both the US and Switzerland.
Blake said that local reforms will also be implemented at CIFA following the Zürich summit. He also told CNS last week that he will be consulting the local membership about who CIFA should vote for in the CONCACAF and FIFA elections.