North American football’s regional governing body unveiled major reforms Monday aimed at avoiding corruption in the wake of the FIFA scandal that had strong ties to the region.
The move by the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) came on the eve of the opening match of the Gold Cup, the biennial international tournament.
The region also hosted the Women’s World Cup, which ended in Canada with the United States beating Japan 5-2 in the final in Vancouver, where CONCACAF’s executive committee agreed on the reforms on Saturday.
Leaders of the biggest national governing bodies within CONCACAF — Sunil Gulati of the United States, Justino Compean of Mexico and Victor Montagliani of Canada — were charged by the executive committee with overseeing the reforms after US prosecutors indicted several FIFA officials, including CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, executive committee member Eduardo Li of Costa Rica and former CONCACAF officials Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer.
“This framework attempts to address deficiencies in the governance and operations of CONCACAF that have put CONCACAF’s reputation, finances and ultimately, its mission at risk,” Gulati, Compean and Montagliani said in an open letter.
“It is important that CONCACAF not just talk about reforms, but implement processes to ensure that those reforms have impact and effect greater governance and transparency in order to position CONCACAF as a leader among sports organizations in terms of breadth and strength of reforms.”
The plan would require a minimum number of CONCACAF executive committee members to be independent of any member association and would impose term limits on all members.
CONCACAF will also have to make annual public financial statements available on its website.
“This reform framework reflects CONCACAF’s commitment to strengthening our governance, management, and operations,” CONCACAF said in a statement.
“In implementing the reform framework, the confederation will demonstrate to its fans, sponsors, member associations and other stakeholders that CONCACAF is resilient and devoted to managing, developing, and promoting the game with accountability and transparency.”