CHICAGO – One has business acumen and heads North America's traditional soccer power. The other has extensive experience in economics and academia and holds the highest soccer seat in CONCACAF's biggest country.
Mexican Football Federation president Justino Compeán and US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati will go head-to-head in next month's election for North America's vacant FIFA Executive Committee seat, and CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb doesn't think his region can go wrong either way.
“Of course, Justino has a lot of experience very much focused in business, good experience from the media standpoint from football development programs,” Webb told MLSsoccer.com at Wednesday's press conference announcing this summer's Gold Cup draw. “Sunil, of course, has a great mind from an economic standpoint. He'll be able, of course, to assist with FIFA as far as growing the bottom line and also for helping with governance and really overall growing FIFA.”
American Chuck Blazer, who held the executive committee seat since 1996, announced last month that he wouldn't seek re-election, and Gulati and Compeán were named candidates to be his successor last week.
Webb will not have a vote but holds considerable sway in CONCACAF. The head of the Cayman Islands Football Association wouldn't tip his hand as to who he supports.
“We're in a great situation,” said Webb. “We have two such incredible, such influential individuals in Sunil Gulati and Justino Compeán. … Obviously the game has changed. It's a big business. The game is evolving and we need individuals who are going to be strong from a business standpoint to help the game.”