CONCACAF officials attend Mexico and New Zealand play off and Hall of Fame induction;
Delegation profess support for fourth spot in FIFA World Cup 2014
Mexico D.F., November 12, 2013 – FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb, Executive Committee member, Eduardo Li, and General Secretary, Enrique Sanz, attended Wednesday’s first leg of the intercontinental play-off between Mexico and New Zealand at a vibrant Azteca Stadium.
Mexico ran out 5-1 winners over the ‘All Whites’ putting themselves in a strong position to secure CONCACAF’s fourth qualification spot in next year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The second leg will be played in Wellington, New Zealand, on November 20.
The CONCACAF delegation watched the game at the Azteca Stadium alongside Mexican Football Federation President Justino Compean and other local officials.
“We are proud of the Mexican National Team for a great performance under intense pressure,' said Webb after celebrating Mexico's victory in a jubilant Azteca Stadium. “We are confident they will give an outstanding performance next week in New Zealand and move on to Brazil'
“The job isn’t finished yet but this was an excellent, entertaining display of the talent Mexico has and it should give the team and their passionate fans plenty of confidence ahead of what will be a long trip and a difficult test in New Zealand,” added the CONCACAF President.
Costa Rica, the United States and Honduras have already secured the three automatic qualification spots from the CONCACAF region for the World Cup.
During the trip to Mexico, Webb also attended the third induction ceremony at the World Football Hall of Fame in Pachuca. From the CONCACAF region, Mia Hamm of the United States was honored as the first woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ex El-Salvador international Jorge Alberto Gonzalez was the first Central American inductee along with Liberian former FIFA World Player of the Year George Weah from the African continent.
Additionally, from Mexican football Adalberto Lopez, Alfredo Tena, Luis Fernando Tena and Rafael Garza Gutierrez were recipients of such honor. Former Italy and AC Milan greats Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini were also among the players inducted into the Hall of Fame as well as former U.S., Mexico and Costa Rica coach Bora Milutinovic.
“On behalf of the visiting CONCACAF delegation, I congratulate this year’s inductees who represent the pinnacle of this great sport of football, and who have impacted millions of people through their dedication and achievements,” said Webb, who had the honor of presenting this recognition to Hamm and ‘Magico’ Gonzalez. “This was a special and historical occasion, with the Hall of Fame commemorating Mia Hamm as the first female inductee.”
The delegation thanked Jesus Martinez, a member of CONCACAF’s Hall of Fame and current owner of World Football Hall of Fame in Pachuca for the opportunity to attend the ceremony, and presented a token of appreciation for the invitation.