LONDON - One year ago, his passion for football led Jeffrey Webb to commit to the CONCACAF presidency despite its multiple challenges. Today, that passion continues to take him through a year-long journey of advancing his mission of developing, promoting and managing football with integrity, transparency and passion in order to inspire participation in the game.
"After a year leading CONCACAF, I'm grateful to all of our Member Associations, business partners, coaches, players, fans, and all of those who believe in our beautiful sport for supporting this journey and contributing to our continued quest to building a stronger Confederation," said Webb.
The Confederation's focus on reform showcases an administration that is geared towards empowering the region through development and governance. Webb's effort is centered on establishing solid foundations to grow the sport and succeed from the grassroots level to worldwide competitions.
"Over the past year, we have seen the first steps towards reforming CONCACAF. By redefining our destiny, we have set the course that will write a new chapter in our region's future. Our goal is to bring back the trust and confidence by establishing a process of accountability," added Webb. "It's ultimately about the passion to play this beautiful game."
Alongside CONCACAF's General Secretary, Enrique Sanz, and the Executive Committee, the Confederation is creating greater opportunities for its members to be involved in all initiatives by increasing participation at a committee level. The aim is to ultimately assist all Member Associations in fulfilling their business goals, while regaining trust and confidence with local partners, sponsors and stakeholders.
"The real challenge of uniting nations that are in such different places, not only in the development of their game but also in their society grid, is defining an integral regional vision of the future," explained Webb.
Nevertheless, the FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President has been thrilled with the region's on-the-field successes over the past year. The gold medals won by the Mexican men and American women, plus the bronze medal captured by the Canadian women, at the 2012 Olympic Games, as well as the U.S. women winning the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, were inspiring achievements realized in his still short tenure.
"We have set an unprecedented landmark by becoming the first confederation in history to win the Gold Medal in both male and female categories in the same Olympic Games," proudly uttered Webb.
As an impending issue on the global agenda, CONCACAF is committed to lead the way in the fight against discrimination as a top priority for the Confederation. Likewise, as the recently appointed Head of FIFA's Anti-Racism and Discrimination Task Force, it is Webb's duty to assist in fulfilling football's commitment to eradicate racism from the fields.
"We have a special responsibility in the way we can impact football and society. One of the opportunities this task force has is its vast reach throughout FIFA's 209 member associations where we can implement the resolutions in every region and every country where football is played, bringing universality to the mechanisms that combat racism and discrimination," asserted Webb.
The forthcoming Gold Cup is expected to be a first-class spectacle that promises an outstanding demonstration of aptitude and competiveness. The tournament will take place July 7-28 in 13 cities throughout the United States, allowing each of the twelve qualified National Football Teams to showcase their talent in a celebration of the best of football in the region.
Webb is certain that this is just the beginning of what the Confederation aims to achieve in the coming years. With this in mind, he anticipates further investment in grassroots, education, marketing and infrastructure to reach a standard of excellence that is required to compete at the highest level internationally. Likewise, CONCACAF wants to continue building strategic partnerships that share a common vision to nurture the growth of the sport.
"I'm hopeful to build upon the progress we have already made so far. We are in the right path to deliver the promise of providing opportunities to fulfill our sport's potential by overcoming obstacles and conquering victories on and off the field. Despite the challenges, CONCACAF's passion for football is bringing us together." concluded Webb.
A year in review:
May 20 - CONCACAF aids Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation to settle World Cup bonuses with Soca Warriors
May 14 - CONCACAF unveils new Gold Cup trophy
May 7 - Webb to recognize Mexican club Santos Laguna for Fair Play
May 6 - Webb chairs first FIFA Anti-Discrimination Task Force meeting
May 3 - CONCACAF at AFC Congress
May 1 - Futline, CONCACAF join forces
April 29 - CONCACAF Club Licensing program launches
April 19 - XXVIII CONCACAF Ordinary Congress in Panama:
• CONCACAF presented report from former Barbados Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons, chairman of the independent Integrity Committee. Additional relevant reports included those from the Audit and Compliance, Finance and Budget Committees.
• Elections held for two positions on the FIFA Executive Committee and for five on the CONCACAF Executive Committee.
• Five national associations were granted admission as new CONCACAF members: French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin and Sint Maarten. Also, the island of Bonaire was accepted as a CONCACAF Associate Member, bringing the total membership to 41 nations.
Memorandums of Understanding:
• CONCACAF/UN partner for awareness campaign: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Protect the Goal campaign (Social)
• Confederation of African Football: development, club licensing, women's football, coaches licenses, business administration and event management (Development)
• Futline: Futline products in all of the Confederation's competitions (Commercial)
April 18 - Official inauguration of Panama Football Federation HQ
April 18 - CFU Congress held in Panama City
• President Webb presented the deed for the CFU headquarters
April 18 - FIFA/CONCACAF visit Cuba, talk development with Raul Castro
April 17 - CONCACAF First ever President's Award
April 16 - FIFA/CONCACAF visit Haiti, talk development with President Martelly
April 16 - 2013 Hall of Fame inductees announced
April 15 - Webb/FIFA kick-off Caribbean visit
April 15 - CONCACAF 21 Committee appointments announced
April 5 - Gold Cup winner to qualify to FIFA Confederations Cup playoff match
March 21 - Webb welcomes Gold Cup teams at dinner
March 7 - Webb meets with Costa Rican delegation
March 6 - CONCACAF, FIFA ExCo Candidate List Revealed
March 4 - First Interactive Gold Cup launches
March 2 - Webb to chair anti-racism task force
February 27 - Webb presents plaque to Puebla governor
February 21 - Miller Lite renews CONCACAF alliance
February 20 - Gold Cup press conference at the Rose Bowl
February 14 - General Secretary Sanz visits INTERPOL to partner against Match Fixing
February 11 - CONCACAF and Fox Soccer extend agreement
January 31 - CONCACAF, French Caribbean islands meet
January 31 - Webb meets with French Guyana League President
January 25 - CONCACAF hosts INTERPOL-FIFA Integrity in Sport workshop
January 23 - CONCACAF announces 2013 Gold Cup Host Cities and Venues
January 19 - Webb meets with President of Costa Rica, Sports Minister and delegation
January 18 - Ariel Alvarado announces departure of Executive Committee
January 17 - Hugo Salcedo Appointed as Director of Development
January 10 - FIFA, CONCACAF officials assist Guyana football bodies reach resolution
January 10 - CONCACAF and Sportsnet multi-year agreement for broadcast rights in Canada
December 20 - Formation of Finance Committee
December 5 - CONCACAF and English FA first Coaching Course proves successful
November 27 - Traffic Sports and CONCACAF commercial partnership rights deal
November 20 - CONCACAF and English FA launch partnership with development course
November 14 - Webb meets with President of Panama
October 31 - CONCACAF President makes first official visit to Bahamas and meets with Ministry of Tourism Tyrone Sawyer
October 29 - Univision Deportes and CONCACAF enter partnership
October 25 - Audit & Compliance Committee Announcement
October 5 - CONCACAF and The FA establish development partnership
October 3 - Appointment of Horace Donovan Reid as Director of Competitions
September 26 - Agreement with WSG and Traffic for international broadcast rights
September 19 - First Integrity Committee meeting in New York
September 14 - Formation of new Integrity Committee
September 14 - Executive Committee met in Mexico
September 12 - Honored Mexican Olympic Team
September 7 - Gold Cup star Tejada joined Toluca
September 3 - Costa Rica's Oviedo earned EPL move
August 23 - David Beckham scores 1,000th goal in CCL history
August 22 - CONCACAF reached radio broadcast agreement with Fútbol de Primera for 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups
August 15 - Announced upcoming Leaders in Football address
August 15 - Four-year agreement with FOX Soccer to broadcast Gold Cup and Champions League
August 13 - Announced that Integrity in Sports workshop was a success
August 6 - Announced CONCACAF and UNCAF would host integrity workshop
July 25 - Five-year agreement with Fox International Channels Latin America to broadcast the CONCACAF Champions League
July 15 - Webb received Queen's Jubilee honor
July 13 - Appointment of Enrique Sanz as General Secretary and announcement that Ted Howard would remain as Deputy General Secretary
July 11 - Executive Committee met in the Caymans
July 4 - Meeting with CONMEBOL in Brazil
June 29 - Elite Referees Course opened in Florida
June 27 - Meet with CONCACAF and FIFA refereeing representatives
June 27 - Announced road map to reform
June 8 - Webb attended Jamaica's opening Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Guatemala
May 24 - Jeffrey Webb election and speech in front of FIFA Congress