Canada's Montagliani elected CONCACAF president

Thu May 12, 2016 5:26pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Canadian businessman Victor Montagliani was elected president of CONCACAF on Thursday and said that cleaning up the embattled governing body for soccer in North, Central America and the Caribbean "would not be done in a day."

After a secret ballot which produced a major power shift in the region, Montagliani, head of his country's football association, won by 25 votes to 16 after vowing to make the organisation more corporate.

His opponent, Bermuda's Larry Mussenden, had promised to help the confederation's smaller nations.

Montagliani said he would work to make sure one of Canada, United States and Mexico would win the right to host the 2026 World Cup and promised to expand CONCACAF's own Gold Cup to 16 teams.

"I think that the three countries that have put up their hands are very, very strong in their own right and we will look for a collaborative strategy to bring the World Cup back to CONCACAF in 2026," he said.

The 50-year-old has already said that the United States will continue to host the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which is held every two years, although other countries could host "segments" of each tournament.

"Football is a business and as president you must be able to work the corners of the global corporate community," the eventual winner said in a 10-minute speech to CONCACAF's 41 members before the vote.

"I understand the desire for change we so desperately need. I am a football man, a CONCACAF man, and very proud of it."   Continued...

Canadian Victor Montagliani elected president of CONCACAF, speaks to the media during a news conference as part of the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, Mexico, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero