(WFI) Canadian Victor Montagliani becomes CONCACAF’s third president in the past year and the first to hail from a country that doesn’t border the Caribbean.
Montagliani, the president of the Canadian Soccer Association, defeated FIFA appeals panel chairman and Bermuda FA president Larry Mussenden by a vote of 25-16 at the CONCACAF conference in Mexico City on May 12.
Those two were the only eligible candidates after Antigua and Barbuda FA leader and CONCACAF general secretary Gordon Derrick failed FIFA integrity checks and was banned from running last month.
Derrick’s issues were not revealed by FIFA but it’s a safe bet they pale in comparison to the transgressions committed by the previous two CONCACAF presidents. Both Jeffrey Webb and Alfredo Hawit were indicted in a widespread FIFA bribery case being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. Jack Warner, who served as president from 1990 to 2011, is also under indictment.
Webb was kicked out of office last May. His interim replacement Alfredo Hawit lasted until December. Both men have pleaded guilty to corruption charges and await sentencing. CONCACAF has been operating without an acting president since December.
Montagliani has identified governance reform and rebuilding credibility as the first pillar in his campaign manifesto, which he calls the “Four Pillars of One CONCACAF”.
The other pillars include improving strategic planning in order to secure higher-profile tournaments and commercial partners, investing in football first and bettering the confederation with a strong leadership style based on service and not power.
But before he can tackle some of those broader issues, the first order of business is likely going to be making sure the Copa America Centenario tournament, which kicks off next month, runs smoothly.
By INSIDER Gerard Farek
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