No CONCACAF endorsement in FIFA vote yet

After two days of meetings which included presentations from four of the five men vying for world football’s top job, CONCACAF deputy general secretary Jurgen Mainka said the body had not decided if the federation would give blanket endorsement to a particular candidate.

UEFA executive Gianni Infantino is one of the frontrunners for the FIFA vote.   -  AP

A meeting of the ruling body for football in North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) ended here with no decision over who the federation may back in the upcoming FIFA presidential election, a senior official said.

After two days of meetings which included presentations from four of the five men vying for world football’s top job, CONCACAF deputy general secretary Jurgen Mainka said the body had not decided if the federation would give blanket endorsement to a particular candidate.

However Mainka raised the possibility of CONCACAF eventually giving firm backing, saying the issue may be discussed at a meeting in Zurich on the eve of the February 26 FIFA vote.

“It wasn’t touched upon on the agenda, we do have an extraordinary congress the day before the FIFA election, something could happen over there, but I’m not privy to that,” Mainka told reporters.

CONCACAF officials had met to discuss a proposed package of FIFA reforms. Mainka said the region had given “unanimous support” to the FIFA overhaul.

UEFA executive Gianni Infantino and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa are widely seen as frontrunners for the FIFA vote, ahead of Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al Hussein, South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale and France’s Jerome Champagne.

All of the candidates except Sexwale gave presentations to CONCACAF officials on Thursday in Miami.

CONCACAF has been at the heart of football’s global corruption scandal, with former president Jeffrey Webb and his successor Alfredo Hawit both arrested last year in separate raids in Switzerland prompted by a US-led investigation.

Webb’s predecessor as CONCACAF chief, Jack Warner, is also charged in the investigation and is fighting against extradition to the United States from his native Trinidad.

In his address to CONCACAF delegates in Miami on Thursday, Prince Ali said the region should not be blamed for the actions of its leaders.

Prince Ali welcomed CONCACAF’s apparent reluctance to vote as a block as it had done under former President Warner.

“I think that it is the best thing, and that it’s the way things should be,” Prince Ali said. “It is not a confederation election — it is a FIFA election.”

  Dugout videos