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Burrell could benefit from FIFA arrests - Jamaica football boss well placed to succeed Jeff Webb as CONCACAF head

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2015 | 5:00 AM
Captain Horace Burrell

Captain Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), is set to benefit from the crisis currently unfolding in football's world governing body, FIFA.

Following the arrest of CONCACAF president, Jeffrey Webb, Burrell is now de facto head of the regional governing body.

The Confederation of North and Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) were plunged into crisis yesterday after Swiss authorities arrested some 14 football officials and corporate executives, nine of them from the two confederations, in a dawn raid at a luxury Zurich hotel.

The CONCACAF mem-bers arrested along with Webb are former Cayman Islands Football Association general secretary, Costas Takkas; Julio Rocha of Nicaragua, and Costa Rica's Eduardo Li. Former FIFA vice-president and former CONCACAF president Trinidadian Jack Warner was also arrested after he turned himself in.

CONMEBOL members apprehended are Rafael Esquivel of Venezuela, Brazil's JosÈ Maria Marin, Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay and Nicolas Lopez of Paraguay.

The indictment alleges that corruption is 'rampant, systemic and deep-rooted' both abroad and in the United States. Investigations into racketeering and corruption on football figures mainly based in the United States and the Caribbean are continuing.

For many years, Burrell was a close ally of Warner, and appeared set to become the next confed chief, when the Trinidadian exited office because of bribery and corruption charges in 2011.

 

six-month suspension

 

Burrell, too, was implicated in the allegations of Caribbean football officials accepting bribes to vote in favour of Mohammad bin Hammam for the 2011 FIFA presidential race against president, Sepp Blatter.

He was suspended for six months, leaving Webb, who was voted in unanimously, to take hold of the post.

Webb is also Burrell's close friend and business partner.

With the CONCACAF number one now under investigation, it is unclear whether he will return as CONCACAF boss and chairman of FIFA's internal audit committee after tomorrow's FIFA congress, leaving the door open for Burrell to take up the mantle and succeed the Cayman FA president as head of CONCACAF.