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soccer_scandal_2015

News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Fri. May 29, 2015: The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, CONCACAF, has  dismissed its president one day after he was indicted and arrested on bribery and corruption charges and replaced him with a senior veep.

Bahamas-born Jeffrey Webb was replaced by CONCACAF’s The Executive Committee Thursday with senior vice president Alfredo Hawit Banega of Honduras.  Hawit Banegas is the head of the National Autonomous Federation of Football of Honduras and served as the interim head of CONCACAF on June 4, 2011.

The news comes as the US Justice Department said competitions like CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League, and the CONMEBOL/CONCACAF Copa America Centenario are being investigated as well.

“While we are profoundly disappointed by the allegations made by authorities that again, CONCACAF has been the victim of fraud, we remain committed to CONCACAF’s goal to develop, promote and manage the game of soccer,” Hawit said in his first statement as president. “We have now taken the appropriate steps to maintain our operations and continue to deliver on our commitments to all of our constituents, including our fans, members, as well as commercial and broadcast partners. We also continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation by governmental authorities, which have not placed any restrictions on our ongoing activities.”

Webb was the fourth President in the Confederation’s history and the youngest leader of any regional association within FIFA to reach this position. He became CONCACAF president, a FIFA vice-president and exco member in May 2012, after Jack Warner resigned following the scandal over the $40,000 payments.

Webb is accused by U.S. authorities of brazen corruption including being paid bribes that went into building a swimming pool at his house.

The bribes are alleged to have been paid by the sports marketing company Traffic USA, in return for being awarded TV and marketing rights for the Caribbean countries’ qualifying matches in the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Webb is said to have wanted a $3m bribe in return for ensuring the CFU did that deal with Traffic.

The $3m payment is alleged to have been arranged with another of the defendants, Costas Takkas, a UK citizen and the general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association, who is described as a close associate of Webb.

Takkas is said to have been paid by installments into various accounts, including in the Cayman Islands, intended it is alleged, “to conceal the fact” ( that) Webb was the beneficiary of the payment”.

Takkas is accused of wiring some of the money to an account of his in Miami. Then, the indictment alleges: “Takkas subsequently transferred the funds to an account in the name of a swimming pool builder at United Community Bank in Blairsville, Georgia [USA], for the benefit of the defendant Jeffrey Webb, who was having a pool built at his residence.”

 

 

 

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