"We are living that legacy"- Hislop believes Warner and Webb fraud scandals could mean a long spell before there is another Caribbean CONCACAF President

By December 15, 2022

Former Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper and current ESPN analyst Shaka Hislop believes it will be a long time before CONCACAF elects another Caribbean president after the scandals surrounding former CONCACAF Presidents Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb.

“I don’t anticipate, despite the political strength of the Caribbean nations within CONCACAF, another CONCACAF president from the Caribbean or the CFU for quite some time,” Hislop said during the Caribbean Conference on Corruption, Compliance and Cyber Crime held virtually last week.

“You have two presidents back-to-back, both black men from the Caribbean, both swept up in that scandal and, as a result, I think regionally there was a lack of trust around Caribbean administrators,” he added.

Canadian businessman Victor Montagliani has been CONCACAF president since May 2016.

Trinidad’s Warner served as CONCACAF President from 1990-2011. He was indicted on fraud charges and banned from all football-related activities by FIFA for life in 2015.

US prosecutors allege that from as far back as 1990, he leveraged his influence and exploited his official positions for personal gain.

Among other things, the 79-year-old former football administrator is accused of receiving US$5 million in bribes to vote for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup. 

In November this year, Warner lost his fight at the Privy Council against extradition to the United States on corruption charges.

Webb, a Caymanian, took the reins as head of CONCACAF from 2012-2015. 

In May 2015, Webb was arrested for corruption charges by Swiss police acting at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. That same month he was banned by FIFA Ethics Committee and ,in November 2015, pleaded guilty and agreed to forfeit more than US$6.7 million.

“We are living that legacy; We are still hoping that people take notice of the Caribbean. We are not able to advocate for ourselves and, for me, that is a desperate position for us to be in but that is the position that we have found ourselves in because of the legacies of those two people,” Hislop said.

Hislop, who was born in London and represented clubs like Newcastle United and West Ham United throughout his 15-year career, said he hopes some good comes out of the situation.

“Longer term, I hope that what has happened forces change, not just in Caribbean or Concacaf football, but in world football. Recognizing how easily the system can be perverted and how you need to have those checks and balances to better serve the global game.”

 

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