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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Austin seeks FIFA intervention into CONCACAF imbroglio

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Deposed acting CONCACAF president Lisle Austin vowed to restore order to the governing body for the game in the North, Central American and Caribbean.
Austin was suspended from the position of acting president last Saturday in a convoluted twist to the bribery scandal that has swirled around the confederation.
The decision was apparently taken by the majority of the CONCACAF Executive Committee members after he fired general secretary Chuck Blazer over the scandal.
Austin had been embroiled in a confrontation with Blazer ever since he replaced CONCACAF president Jack Warner, who was suspended from all activity connected with the game, pending an investigation into corruption allegations by the ethics committee of the sport's world governing body, FIFA.
Austin said on Thursday that CONCACAF was under attack from within by those who refuse to respect the statutes of the organisation.
"They have no regard for the rights and interests of the members at large," he said in a statement.
"I will not stand idly by while this happens and hope, through FIFA intervention or other means, to restore order to CONCACAF as soon as possible."
He added: "These actions and additional statements questioning my leadership are being engineered by a faction of CONCACAF attempting to unlawfully seize control.
"The actions and statements of these persons are beyond their authority, and are neither the actions of, nor binding upon, CONCACAF. As acting president, I will take all appropriate steps to remedy these actions."
Austin revealed that earlier this week, he advised FIFA president Sepp Blatter of the actual course of events related to the governance of CONCACAF since May 29.
"I urged his intervention to ensure that the statutes of CONCACAF are honoured," said Austin. "Any and all guidance from FIFA in resolving the unfortunate situation at CONCACAF is most welcome.
"I am committed to protecting the institution of which I am acting president, and asked Mr Blatter to recognise my rights in that role.
"Further uncertainty will only serve to frustrate the goals of transparency and reform not only for CONFACAF, but for the sport of association football."
Austin reiterated that under the statutes of CONCACAF, the Executive Committee has no authority to "suspend" the president — only the Confederation in Congress can remove the president, and only FIFA can suspend the president of CONCACAF.