Exclusive: CONCACAF lawyers warn of serious risks if reforms fail

Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:59pm EST
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By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - CONCACAF, the corruption-plagued soccer organization for North and Central America and the Caribbean, could face dramatic consequences, including being disbanded, if it fails to reform, the organization's lawyers have told its members.

Miami-based CONCACAF, one of the six confederations within FIFA, has been at the center of the FIFA scandal which has seen 41 individual and entities indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The last three presidents of CONCACAF are among those who have been indicted along with former general secretary, American Chuck Blazer. The charges include bribery, money laundering, racketeering and conspiracy.

Trinidadian Jack Warner, who was president of CONCACAF for 21 years until 2011, has been charged by the Department of Justice and is currently fighting extradition to the United States.

Representatives of CONCACAF's 41-member associations were given a briefing by the body's lawyers in Miami on Friday where they were urged to back a comprehensive reform package which will be voted on later this month.

The lawyers warned of difficulties with broadcast partners, sponsors and banks, FIFA itself and the risk of government action if change is not enacted.

CONCACAF is currently viewed as a victim by the Department of Justice and is conducting an internal investigation in coordination with the department.

But the legal presentation, a copy of which has been seen by Reuters, warned the members that they risked losing that status if they did not enact changes.   Continued...