Warner's long gone but CONCACAF's pro-Blatter politics remain

Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:03am EDT
 
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By Simon Evans

NASSAU, Bahamas (Reuters) - On the surface, CONCACAF's congress on Thursday looked very different to the last time the regional confederation had gathered before a FIFA presidential election.

Back in 2011, with Trinidadian Jack Warner still at the helm of the governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, CONCACAF's deliberations were held in a chain hotel in downtown Miami and were closed to the media.

On Thursday, football officials from the 41 member nations gathered in the up-market Vegas style, Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, with media invited in.

There was a giant video screen that displayed professionally produced updates on CONCACAF's activities and youthful CONCACAF staffers in branded uniform buzzed around, assisting the proceedings.

But while the new CONCACAF, led by the personable Jeffrey Webb, looks very different to the rather shabby organization led by Warner, the politics of the organization proved to be remarkably similar.

The formalities had barely been dealt with before the first of 10 federation representatives began their eulogies to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, whose organization has faced numerous allegations of corruption in the past four years.

It was a familiar scene to anyone who had witnessed CONCACAF representatives at FIFA congresses under Warner.

Throughout Blatter's reign, the region has been a rock-solid stronghold for the FIFA president, with the Caribbean nations in particular loyal supporters.   Continued...