(WFI) CONCACAF says former bosses Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer were “fraudulent in their management” of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.
David Simmons (CONCACAF)
According to a Reuters report, an investigation into the decades-long leadership of the former president and ex-general secretary took center stage Friday as the head of CONCACAF’s new Integrity Committee detailed the findings of his forensic audit based on documents and testimony from 38 interviewees.
“I have recounted a sad and sorry tale in the life of CONCACAF, a tale of abuse of position and power, by persons who assisted in bringing the organization to profitability but who enriched themselves at the expense of their very own organizations,” David Simmons, a former Barbados chief justice, told delegates to the 28th CONCACAF Congress in Panama City, Panama, including FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Chief among the instances of financial mismanagement uncovered by Simmons is construction of the $26 million Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence in Warner’s native Trinidad, where he is now national security minister.
“Warner represented to FIFA that funds would be used to support development but never told FIFA the Center would be situated on land owned by his companies,” Simmons was quoted Friday by Reuters.
His probe also found that USA’s “entirely negligent” Blazer, the world football whistleblower who quit CONCACAF at the end of 2011 and will step down as its Ex-Co member at next month’s FIFA Congress, worked without a contract for more than decade – earning more than $20 million as general secretary, including more than $17 million in commission – and had “no business reason” for his Manhattan apartment.
Both Warner and Blazer so far deny any wrongdoing. Neither cooperated with the investigation by Simmons.
Justino Compeán and Sunil Gulati (MLS)
Also in Panama City, Sunil Gulati, the head of U.S. Soccer who also led his nation’s 2022 World Cup bid, edged Mexico’s Justino Compeán by a tally of 18 votes to 17 for North America’s seat on the Ex-Co. He will take over from Blazer at next month’s FIFA Congress in Mauritius.
Meanwhile, CONCACAF president and Cayman Islands football chief Jeffrey Webb stood unopposed for the Ex-Co seat from the Caribbean.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson
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