Caribbean can lead CONCACAF again despite scandal: CFU president

Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:09pm EDT
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By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - The Caribbean has been at the epicenter of the corruption scandal that has rocked FIFA, but the head of the region's soccer body said there is no reason why another of their officials could not be the next head of region's troubled confederation, CONCACAF.

Gordon Derrick, president of the Caribbean Football Union, which represents 31 of the countries within the 41 member CONCACAF, said it would be unfair to stigmatize the entire region as a result of the scandal.

CONCACAF, which administers the sport in North and Central America and the Caribbean, is one of six regional bodies that make up FIFA, but its last two presidents have both been indicted by U.S. investigators.

Jack Warner headed CONCACAF for 21 years, until he quit in 2011 amidst "cash for votes" allegations. Warner, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, faces a series of charges, including racketeering and bribery offences and is currently fighting an attempt by the U.S. to extradite him from Trinidad and Tobago where he is based.

His successor, Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands, was arrested last month in Switzerland and has agreed to be extradited to the United States to face similar charges.

"I don't think there is a black eye on the Caribbean per se, or that because these two (cases) happened back to back and therefore no-one else can do it. I think that would be unfair,” Derrick told Reuters in a telephone interview from Boston.

"Yes the confidence (in the Caribbean) will be down, but we are a proud people from a proud area, who have ability; who can govern and who are intelligent. So if someone from the Caribbean steps up, they will step up and do well," he said.

In the absence of the suspended Webb, Alfredo Hawit of Honduras was named interim president of CONCACAF until an election can be held at its next congress.   Continued...

The building housing offices of CONCACAF, the soccer federation that governs North America, Central America and the Caribbean, is seen during a search by FBI agents in Miami Beach, Florida May 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Gaston De Cardenas