(WFI) CONCACAF deputy general secretary Jurgen Mainka says the purpose of this week’s meeting in Miami was to discuss FIFA and CONCACAF reforms, not to decide on which FIFA presidential candidate the regional confederation will support.
“Part of the agenda today did not include talking about the FIFA candidates, again the focus of these meetings were the FIFA reforms and the CONCACAF reforms,” Mainka told reporters following the conclusion of the two-day CONCACAF meeting at the Sheraton Hotel.
“We spoke about the FIFA statutes. Because of all of the nations coming together, four of the [candidates] asked us if they could present. They came in last night and they presented their platforms and we allowed them that window,” Mainka says.
When asked if CONCACAF would eventually make a declaration of support for a candidate, Mainka suggested it could happen in Zurich, Switzerland on Feb. 25, just one day prior to the vote.
“We do have an extraordinary congress the day before the election so something could happen there, but I’m not privy to that.”
CONCACAF presidential candidate Victor Montagliani of Canada says that CONCACAF shouldn’t make a declaration of support for any of the FIFA candidates.
“To me, that is first and foremost a wrong thing to do,” says Montagliani. “I don’t think that’s the job of a confederation, I think the job of a confederation is to work for your members, not to impose on your members.”
CONCACAF vice president Horace Burrell of Jamaica agrees that the federation presidents can make up their own minds.
“Hearing from the candidates was very interesting and I am sure the federation presidents that are here are wise enough and will be able to make their own decision,” says Burrell.
Although CONCACAF may not agree on a candidate to support, all delegates believe it is time for an organizational change to end the run of corruption that has plagued the confederation for the past three decades.
“One of the ways to prevent these problems from reoccurring is to enact reforms,” says Burrell. “We had a chance to fully discuss these reforms and I think by-and-large almost all of these reforms were accepted because it is believed these reforms will assist with better governance going forward.”
While the proposals to revise the statutes of CONCACAF are still under contention, the confederation has chosen to support the efforts being made to reform FIFA as a whole.
“CONCACAF is unanimously supporting the FIFA reforms,” says Mainka. “As part of today’s agenda we also discussed the CONCACAF reforms that will be voted on Feb. 25 the day prior to the FIFA extraordinary congress.”
Montagliani believes the reforms are necessary to bring all regions of CONCACAF together as one unit.
“It’s a very important moment in our history and our future because it’s time to change the culture and to implement the strategy of one CONCACAF, not three separate regions,” said Montagliani. “We have a very important meeting in a month where we start by voting in the reforms which I think will pass and I believe that’s the start of a much more brighter and transparent future for CONCACAF.”
“Once all of these measures are observed I am sure that a lot of those things that transpired will not reoccur,” says Burrell.
The 209 national federations within FIFA will choose its next president on Feb. 26 at FIFA headquarters in Zurich. The FIFA Congress will also vote on whether to implement the reforms to which CONCACAF has lent its full support.
By INSIDER Kevin Nutley in Miami, Florida.
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