CONCACAF backs FIFA anti-corruption reform plan

CONCACAF is backing FIFA’s proposal to restrict term limits for
future presidents and executive committee members, part of the
governing body’s plans for reforms after a series of corruption
scandals.

CONCACAF, which governs football in North and Central America
and the Caribbean, thereby takes a different stance than UEFA,
which has opposed those suggestions and has positioned itself as a
road block to some reforms that critics view as crucial to cleaning
up the battered image of FIFA.

CONCACAF said Monday it fully endorses a 10-point plan that
includes limiting future FIFA presidents to eight years in office
and executive committee members to three four-year terms.

The plan was suggested by a FIFA working group, which includes
officials from each of FIFA’s six continental confederations and
will meet on Tuesday in Zurich to consider feedback from their
member countries about modernizing how the sport is run.

”It is gratifying to see we are finally accompanying this
profound renovation of the world of football,” said CONCACAF
President Jeffrey Webb, who joined the FIFA executive board last
year.

UEFA wants a 12-year limit on the FIFA presidency, with
unlimited terms for FIFA board members. European countries also
reject plans to scrutinize FIFA officials and election candidates
for integrity through an independent panel working from FIFA
headquarters in Zurich.

FIFA’s suggested plan falls short of wider-ranging proposals
requested by an advisory group including anti-corruption experts
invited by FIFA President Sepp Blatter to help the two-year reform
process.

A key request of the advisory panel is to allow independent
observers to oversee all FIFA committees.

CONCACAF said its 40 members were ”overwhelmingly supportive”
of the FIFA plan to increase transparency and accountability.

Just 35 of those countries have full FIFA membership and voting
rights when the final reform slate is decided at the FIFA congress
scheduled in Mauritius on May 31.

CONCACAF has scheduled its continental assembly for April 19 in
Panama City, when it will announce details of a financial audit
commissioned in the fallout of an election bribery scandal which
rocked FIFA. Longtime CONCACAF president Jack Warner resigned in
June 2011 to avoid investigation by FIFA, where he had served on
the board for 28 years.