Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - Page 19 News List

CONCACAF ‘cooperating’ with investigation of FIFA


CONCACAF’s acting general secretary said the organization is cooperating with the US Department of Justice as it investigates allegations of corruption in FIFA.

US authorities indicted nine soccer officials on corruption charges last week, including the current and past presidents of the regional governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean. Seven men were arrested by Swiss authorities at a luxury hotel in Zurich.

Ted Howard, who became the acting general secretary for CONCACAF on Thursday, said the organization continues to work with the US government.

“[The Department of Justice] told us in their press conference the other day that they haven’t finished their investigation yet,” Howard said on Monday night at a drawing announcing the teams participating in a club tournament later this year. “Like everyone, all of us [are] disappointed and shocked that this could happen again after four years ago.”

CONCACAF announced the appointments of Howard and acting president Alfredo Hawit of Honduras on Thursday, one day after CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb was arrested and indicted on charges of racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud.

CONCACAF said Webb and Eduardo Li, the president of Costa Rican soccer’s governing body, had been “provisionally dismissed.”

Li, who had been elected to fill one of CONCACAF’s seats on FIFA’s executive committee, also was indicted and arrested.

CONCACAF has had a string of leaders in recent years. Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago held the position from 1990 until May 29, 2011, when he was suspended by FIFA during a bribery investigation.

Lisle Austin of Barbados became acting president, but was suspended by CONCACAF’s executive committee on June 2 that year after he tried to fire Chuck Blazer, the confederation’s US general secretary.

Hawit served as acting president until Webb was elected on May 23, 2012. Howard served as acting general secretary between Blazer’s resignation at the end of 2011 and the hiring of Colombian-born Enrique Sanz on July 25, 2012.

CONCACAF said Sanz had been placed on a leave of absence. An unidentified coconspirator listed in the indictment fits the description of Sanz’ work history.

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