Jeffrey Webb sacked as CONCACAF president
Zurich, May 29 (IANS) Governing body of football in North and Central America and the Caribbean, CONCACAF moved swiftly to provisionally sack Jeffrey Webb as president and install senior vice-president Alfredo Hawit as interim head of the confederation.
Eduardo Li was also dismissed as Costa Rica federation president on Thursday while CONCACAF General Secretary Enrique Sanz was placed on an immediate leave of absence, reports CMC.
The decisions follow a meeting of CONCACAF's executive committee which was held less than 48 hours after Webb and several other FIFA officials were arrested here in a dawn raid by Swiss law enforcement authorities.
Webb, also the FIFA vice-president, along with eight other present and former FIFA officials, were subsequently named by the United States Department of Justice in a 47-count indictment on corruption charges. Sanz was not among those arrested or named in the alleged corruption scandal.
"While we are profoundly disappointed by the allegations made by authorities that again CONCACAF has been the victim of fraud, we remain committed to CONCACAF's goal to develop, promote and manage the game of football. We have now taken the appropriate steps to maintain our operations and continue to deliver on our commitments to all of our constituents, including our fans, members, as well as commercial and broadcast partners," Hawit said.
"We also continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation by governmental authorities which have not placed any restrictions on our ongoing activities."
The Executive Committee also appointed a Special Committee to "evaluate and sustain all of the business operations of the Confederation" in light of the latest round of corruption charges. Victor Montagliani, the Canadian football association president, Justino Compean, head of the Mexican federation and Sunil Gulati, president of US federation, comprise the committee. CONCACAF's deputy general secretary Ted Howard has been appointed acting general secretary.
The US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said on Wednesday the arrested officials had been involved in an elaborate $150 million corruption scheme which involved racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies among other offences.
Competitions being investigated are CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League, and the CONMEBOL/CONCACAF Copa America Centenario, set to be staged next year.
Former CONCACAF president and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner was also named as a defendant in the indictment. He was granted bail in his homeland Trinidad and Tobago after turning himself into police and making a subsequent court appearance.