October 25 – Speaking to Concacaf member associations at the confederation’s 36th Ordinary Congress, president Victor Montagliani (pictured) praised his members for their commitment to the game and highlighted the “groundbreaking moment” of the US Department of Justice’s award of $70 million.
The DoJ financial award was attributed to the governance progress that Concacaf and its MAs had made over the six years since the multiple DoJ indictments of football officials worldwide, including then Concacaf president Jeff Webb, to be followed just six months later by interim president Alfredo Hawit.
“Your commitment to improved financial governance structures, and to the football first philosophy we have now championed for five years delivered a groundbreaking moment for Concacaf,” said Montagliani.
“After a long process which included our collective support for the US Department of Justice process, and our commitment to delivering governance reforms and best practices, this year the landmark decision was made to provide remission funds to Concacaf. This will see $70 million reinvested in the development of football in our region.”
That money will be administered by the FIFA Foundation under the criteria that it is to be invested in football development.
“I think you will all agree this has the potential to be truly transformational for the growth of football in our great region,” said Montagliani.
Concacaf has emerged from the pandemic at great pace, having delivered 11 competitions so far in 2021, including what was the biggest ever Gold Cup, featuring 24 Concacaf Men’s national teams. The confederation has also radically revamped its competition structures with a new Concacaf Women’s National Team competitions calendar and a new Concacaf club ecosystem which incorporates an expanded Concacaf Champions League commencing in 2024.
“We have shown incredible resilience and we have come together as a Concacaf family to deliver football again for the love of the game, for our region and for our fans,” said Montagliani.
“I have spoken to you in the past about earning the right to think long term and never more than now have I believed that to be the case for Concacaf. Your commitment and love for the game has inspired us and enabled us reach heights in 2021 that this time last year were unthinkable.”
The change within Concacaf is not just happening on a competition level, but also on an administrative level.
Former US Soccer president Sunil Gulati, who was present during the US Department of Justice indictments in 2015 and was a key player in the election of FIFA’s current president Gianni Infantino, is finishing his term as a Concacaf representative on the FIFA Council. He is replaced by Mexico’s Yon de Luisa.
Another former US Soccer president, Carlos Cordeiro, also finished his term on the Concacaf Council. Nick Bontis (Canada), was elected as the representative for North America. Maurice Victoire (Martinique) was re-elected to the Concacaf Council as the Caribbean member, and Rodolfo Villalobis (Costa Rica) was re-elected as the Central American member.
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