PtG Article 09.05.2011

CONCACAF's private meeting

Last week’s CONCACAF congress revealed little to the press about the important meeting, the first after the US bid for World Cup 2022 was defeated in December last year and a meeting which was expected to reveal the support for one of the candidates for the post as FIFA President. News agency Reuters was present in Miami and delivered a somewhat puzzled report on what went on at the Maimi hotel.

The congress was thought to be an electoral meeting between the two rivals for the FIFA presidential post, but eventually Bin Hammam did not show up because he did not obtain a visa to enter the United States.

““Very strange,” one congress delegate said to me with a smile." “It’s quite interesting isn’t it?” said another. There has been no suggestion from Bin Hammam that there was any foul play involved (and only the most lurid conspiracy theorist could believe U.S. Immigration is working for Sepp Blatter) but it tells you something about the atmosphere inside CONCACAF that some hinted, with those comments, that there might be more than just an administrative problem involved”, Reuters reports.

The media delegates present at the congress were expecting an opening session open to the press, but 24 hours before its start the opening was closed. This was the first issue to be questioned at the press conference held after the conclusion of the congress.

“It’s a private meeting of organisations,” Jack Warner explained, according to Reuters. Warner was re-elected President of CONCACAF unopposed at the congress.

So did CONCACAF support Blatter or Bin Hammam? According to Jack Warner, they did not decide officially on any of the candidates. In the light of Bin Hammam’s absence, that would be unfair, explained Warner, Reuters writes.Blatter however seemed confident of the confederation’s support and according to Reuters, “told the reporters that the CONCACAF president had told him “you don’t even need to campaign”.”

“When you get the message you don’t need to campaign and (are told) to use your time to go somewhere else – you cannot be more clear,” Blatter was reported saying.

Read the full report from Reuters here: