Calm before a new storm? CONCACAF hunts for new bosses


By Paul Nicholson

March 15 – Having passed their package of reforms at an extraordinary congress the confederation for north and central America and the Caribbean has embarked on the search for a new general secretary and chief legal/compliance officer. This May CONCACAF will also elect a new president.

In what is a very American looking brief, in what is an increasingly North American-looking confederation, executive search firms Korn Ferry and Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA) have been engaged to fill the leadership positions. Korn Ferry to find the general secretary and MLA the legal position.

Currently the general secretary role is being fulfilled by Ted Howard who was the assistant general secretary to Enrique Sanz who was fired by CONCACAF following the corruption scandal that rocked the governing body. The current head of legal is Marco Leal. The confederation currently has no head of integrity and is undertaking very little action on match-fixing – match-fixing is a major issue in north America (and in US sports in particular) that the confederation now appears to have no appetite to tackle.

A CONCACAF statement said: “CONCACAF is entering a new phase of governance and management, and a robust executive search process is required to find individuals to lead the Confederation in two very important areas. For the development of football across our region to flourish, CONCACAF needs to continue professionalizing its operations by identifying the right leaders to implement reforms and maintain the Confederation’s growth and stability.”

CONCACAF has said that it expects the search “to be complete within a few months”. It is unclear whether that search will be done before a new president is elected though the final decision on appointments will be taken by CONCACAF’s executive committee rather the president.

The job specification for the general secretary role state that candidates must “have a proven track record of running a successful business, managing profit and loss statements, overseeing regional staff, organizing large-scale events, and managing broadcast, commercial, and digital media rights.

“Candidates for Chief Legal/Compliance Officer must have appropriate legal credentials, extensive experience working in legal or compliance positions within multi-national corporations, and strong management skills. Additionally, candidates for both positions are required to have experience with and an understanding of cross-cultural work, and impeccable reputations on issues relating to integrity and ethics.”

The expectation is that with CONCACAF’s head office in Miami, USA, the new positions will very likely be filled by US candidates with a strong track record in that marketplace. The search firms give no indication that they will be conducting a region-wide or even global search.

The race for the new president of CONCACAF has four candidates – Victor Montagliani (Canadian president), Gordon Derrick (president of the Caribbean Football Union), Larry Mussenden (Bermuda president) and Mark Rodriguez (a businessman with football interests and a national team coach).

Montagliani has the very powerful backing of the US and North Americans and rumours are that this power is being flexed on individual nations in the Caribbean. Ultimately the power battle will be decided over whether the Caribbean nations fold under the pressure and split, or whether they will keep their traditional sub-regional loyalty.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1712182076labto1712182076ofdlr1712182076owedi1712182076sni@n1712182076osloh1712182076cin.l1712182076uap1712182076