CONCACAF suspends acting president Austin
Acting CONCACAF president Lisle Austin has been suspended by the
continental federation for allegedly violating rules.
The provisional ban applies to Austin’s activities with CONCACAF
and in his native Barbados. CONCACAF, which represents North and
Central America and the Caribbean, is also asking FIFA to extend
Austin’s suspension to soccer duties worldwide until his full
hearing July 13.
CONCACAF vice president Alfredo Hawit of Honduras is now the
”We are clearly passing through a difficult time,” Hawit said
in a statement released by CONCACAF. ”However, I steadfastly
believe that CONCACAF will overcome these challenges and reach even
The suspension drew and angry response Saturday from Austin, who
claimed in a statement that the action was ”illegal.”
”It necessarily follows that if the president did not convene
or did not chair any meeting of the executive committee that any
actions taken or decisions reached at said meeting are not only
unenforceable but are ultra vires (invalid),” the statement
CONCACAF did not say what Austin did to merit the suspension,
which took effect Thursday. But he tried to remove Chuck Blazer as
secretary general in retaliation for Blazer’s bribery allegations
against longtime CONCACAF leader Jack Warner and fellow FIFA
executive committee member Mohamed bin Hammam. CONCACAF’s executive
committee quickly rebuffed Austin’s move, saying he lacked the
power to remove Blazer.
Warner and bin Hammam were suspended by FIFA after Blazer
accused them of offering Caribbean officials $40,000 each in
exchange for their votes in last Wednesday’s presidential election.
Bin Hammam had been the only challenger to Sepp Blatter, who was
elected unopposed to a fourth term.
Austin also tried to sever CONCACAF’s relationship with John P.
Collins, a former federal prosecutor who investigated Blazer’s
allegations and prepared the report for FIFA. Collins represents
CONCACAF, and also sits on FIFA’s legal committee.
Collins’ signature is on the notice of Austin’s suspension.
The announcement comes one day before the start of the Gold Cup,
CONCACAF’s premier event. The tournament is being played in 13
cities across the United States, and the winner will earn a spot in
the 2013 Confederations Cup, the all-important World Cup