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.