CONCACAF free to back FIFA head of their choice: Webb

Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:42pm EDT
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By Simon Evans

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - In a move that will encourage opponents of Sepp Blatter in May's FIFA presidential election, CONCACAF said on Thursday they will not push their members to vote as a block.

Jeffrey Webb, president of the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean told Reuters he is comfortable with the idea of associations voting for different candidates.

In a break with past practice in the region, which has long been a stronghold of support for Blatter, national associations will be given the freedom to back candidates as they see fit.

"I don't think that CONCACAF is going to come out (for a single candidate)," said Webb. "CONCACAF doesn't have a vote, it's the members that have a vote. Each individual country has an opportunity to vote for who their membership support."

As a further sign of the change in approach, former Portugal winger Luis Figo, one of the three candidates standing against Blatter at the May 29 election, attended the body's executive committee in Philadelphia.

Last week, CONCACAF officials also met with Dutch Football Association President Michael van Praag, who along with Jordan's Prince Ali bin al-Hussein make up the other two candidates.

"We will discuss it and give them an informed view as far as how we see the landscape in terms of - number one what is in the best interests of the game and number two what is in the best interests of CONCACAF," said Webb.

"We have countries that nominated President Blatter, we have countries that nominated Prince Ali. I actually think competition is good.   Continued...

FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a news conference after the CONMEBOL ordinary congress in Luque March 4, 2015.  REUTERS/Jorge Adorno