The USA-Mexico rivalry is about to get dialed up another notch – for a spot on FIFA’s Executive Committee.
Less than three weeks after former CONCACAF secretary general Chuck Blazer announced he would not seek re-election for a fifth term on the powerful board of soccer’s international governing body, CONCACAF on Wednesday announced the names of the two men who will seek to replace him:
Sunil Gulati and Justino Compeán.
Gulati (above right) is, of course, the president of the United States Soccer Federation, currently serving his second term. Compeán (above left) is his counterpart with the Mexican Football Federation (FMF).
The 26-member FIFA ExCo is the most important decision-making body in world soccer, whose duties include awarding hosting rights to major tournaments, including the World Cup. FIFA president Sepp Blatter is the top man on the committee, which also comprises eight vice presidents and another 15 members that are appointed by the six member confederations.
Blazer – who is currently the only American on the committee – elected to step aside following the bribery scandal involving former Asian confederation president Mohammed bin Hammam and former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who was also Blazer’s former partner and president of CONCACAF.
CONCACAF’s 40 member associations will vote between Gulati and Compeán as Glazer’s replacement at the confederation’s congress on April 19 in Panama City, Panama. The four-year term commences in May and expires in 2017.
Either candidate could continue to serve as his respective federation's chief if elected to the committee.