Monday July 6th, 2015

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced a framework of reform in its organization after two presidents and others were indicted and charged with racketeering in international soccer.

CONCACAF, headquartered in Miami, said that the anti-corruption reform framework was unanimously approved by the organization’s Executive Committee last Saturday at a meeting in Vancouver. CONCACAF's Gold Cup tournament starts on Tuesday in the United States.

Among the reform proposals: Imposing term limits on CONCACAF presidents and executive committee members; appointing independent outsiders to the policy-making executive panel executive committee and publishing salaries and expenses of top officials.

"This Reform Framework reflects CONCACAF's commitment to strengthening our governance, management, and operations," the organization said in a statement. "These reforms are intended to apply best practices for sound corporate governance to CONCACAF's business operations."

The organization also plans to name a chief compliance officer, retain outside consultant to help improve the bid process, audit counterparties for bribery and fraud and implement a whistleblower hotline to be administered by CONCACAF’s audit committee.

The framework comes as CONCACAF and FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb, Costa Rican soccer federation president Eduardo Li continue to fight extradition to the U.S. after they were arrested at a luxury hotel in Zurich on May 27 just days before FIFA’s congress.

Former CONCACAF president Jack Warner also faces extradition after the U.S. government filed formal requests asking Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials as part of a corruption investigation.

A total of 14 people were indicted and charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies by the United States Justice Department, which accused FIFA of decades of "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption by members of world soccer's governing body.

Any changes or reforms must be approved at a congress of the full 41-nation CONCACAF membership.

“In implementing the Reform Framework, the Confederation will demonstrate to its fans, sponsors, member associations and other stakeholders that CONCACAF is resilient and devoted to managing, developing, and promoting the game with accountability and transparency," the CONCACAF statement said.

- Scooby Axson

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