The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has given its full backing to the proposals designed to reform FIFA.
CONCACAF, whose 40 associations represent just under one fifth of FIFA’s total of 209, said feedback to the 10-point reform plan has been “overwhelmingly supportive”. The proposals put forward by FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee (IGC) include limiting the FIFA presidency to two four-year terms and imposing an age limit of 72 for the president. The same limit will also be imposed on Executive Committee members, who will only be allowed to serve three four-year terms. FIFA’s 209 members, rather than its executive committee, will also be asked to choose future World Cup hosts.
CONCACAF is now moving forward under the new leadership of president Jeffrey Webb and general secretary Enrique Sanz following the controversial tenure of Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer. Blazer had served as general secretary since 1990, but resigned in January 2012 after his bribery accusations against former CONCACAF president Warner and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed bin Hammam triggered FIFA’s anti-corruption crusade. Commenting on the reform proposals, Webb said: “After more than a century since FIFA’s inception, the global landscape of our game has clearly changed. It is gratifying to see we are finally accompanying this profound renovation of the world of football. We thank FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee for this timely initiative of reform and express our pride to our member associations for their commitment to supporting this transformation.”
The IGC’s reform proposals are set to be voted on at FIFA’s Congress, which will be held in Mauritius in May. However, it has not been plain sailing with FIFA’s anti-corruption adviser Mark Pieth this month stating the Swiss government may be required to intervene amid concerns European members may seek to block reform measures. Swiss anti-corruption expert Pieth was in November 2011 chosen to lead the IGC. Pieth told Bloomberg that he is seeking the Swiss government to provide oversight of some of the international governing bodies based in the country. Pieth said intervention is needed because “you have 60-plus such organisations and you’re basically allowing them to do whatever they want.” UEFA last month said its members opposed a proposal by Pieth’s committee that any members selected to FIFA’s Executive Committee be voted upon by the organisation’s entire 209-nation membership, with background checks carried out by an independent body. UEFA said its members should decide who represents them on a world level and that “if integrity checks are required,” they should be handled by confederations. The January meeting saw UEFA declare its 53 members unanimously approved its opposition to FIFA reforms and also rejected the IGC’s demand that FIFA board members have set-term limits.