MIAMI - CONCACAF announced Tuesday that four notable contributors to the sport will be inducted into its Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Thursday, April 18, at Palacio Bolivar in the Cancillería General de la República in Panama City, Panama.
Ariel Alvarado (Panama), Jesus Martinez (Mexico), Lincoln Sutherland (Jamaica) and Joseph Ursulet (Martinique), representing each of CONCACAF's three geographic regions, will join 29 previous inductees in the esteemed body.
"It is imperative that we celebrate the achievements of those who give of themselves selflessly and tirelessly to provide opportunity for millions to participate in and enjoy our great sport," said CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb. "I congratulate and thank Ariel, Jesus, Lincoln and Joseph for everything they have done, and continue to do, in football."
The CONCACAF Hall of Fame honors those who have played significant roles in developing and advancing the sport in the confederation.
Biographies of the four inductees can be found below in alphabetical order:
As the first Panamanian to earn induction into the CONCACAF Hall of Fame, Ariel Alvarado has made a significant mark on the Confederation. Since 2007, he has served as a valued member of CONCACAF's Executive Committee.
Alvarado led the Panamanian Football Federation as President from 2000 to 2011 and also as its General Secretary in 2011.
Under his leadership, Panamanian national teams reached high levels of competitiveness never previously realized. The under-20 and under-17 selections combined for five qualifications to FIFA World Cups. The senior national team won the 2009 Central American championship and finished as runner-up to the United States in the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Alvarado has served as a member on the FIFA Ethics Committee and currently sits on the CONCACAF Gold Cup Committee.
Jesus Martinez enters the CONCACAF Hall of Fame as the current president and owner of Pachuca, the old professional football club in Mexico.
Under his leadership, the Tuzos won their first Mexican League title in 1999 and went on to achieve greater success, capturing four more domestic crowns to go along with four CONCACAF titles, plus three appearances at the FIFA Club World Cup. Pachuca also became the first CONCACAF team to win another confederation's championship, when it claimed the 2006 Copa Sudamericana.
Martinez founded the National Technical Director/Coaching School in 1996 and, in 2001 inaugurated the University of Football and Sports Science, the first institution of its kind in Latin America. He also founded the Center of High Performance, the Joseph Blatter Pavillion, an Interactive Football Center as well as many other legacies to the sport.
Some of Martinez's many accolades include being named Diario Reforma's best Mexican Football businessman for three-consecutive years and best businessman of the decade by sports newspaper Record. The founder of Grupo Pachuca is also the owner of Club León of the Mexican First Division as well as Estudiantes Tecos currently playing in the Mexican Second Division.
In 2011 -- with FIFA's blessing -- he formed the country's first Football Hall of Fame, where legends from both Mexico and international are honored.
Lincoln "Happy" Sutherland
The third Jamaican to be inducted into the CONCACAF Hall of Fame, the illustrious football career of Lincoln Sutherland commenced in 1963, when at the age of 25, he was elected President of the St. Catherine Football Association, a post he held for 42 years.
Sutherland served as President of the Jamaica Football Federation from 1979 to 1981 and as Vice-President on multiple occasions.
Awarded the Order of Distinction for his contribution to Sports and National Development in 1999, Sutherland was also a founding Director of the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sports…the only college of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean that trains coaches in all areas of sport.
Sutherland was integral in the formation of the Caribbean Football Union and is an Honorary Life Member of the Jamaica Football Federation board.
In 2011, he received the JFF Presidents' Award, which was presented to him by FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
A current member of the CONCACAF Disciplinary Committee, Sutherland is chairman of JFF Protocol Committee and has been an active FIFA and CONCACAF Match Commissioner since the early 1990's.
The first native of Martinique to be inducted into the CONCACAF Hall of Fame, Joseph Ursulet began his career as a player in 1954 with Club Franciscain.
He would serve as the club's president from 1975 to 1980, establishing a foundation that would see the club become a domestic and regional powerhouse.
From 1980 to 1996, Ursulet held the post of President of the Ligue de Football de la Martinique.
During his tenure, the men's national team won two CFU Championships. Then, in 1993, it captured the Caribbean Cup, qualifying the team for its first-ever CONCACAF Gold Cup appearance.
Ursulet's numerous other achievements include: construction of the national association's headquarters; Implementation of local training programs for team managers and referees; plus, development of a women's football competition.
He played a major role in an agreement that allowed Martinique, as well as Guadeloupe and French Guyana, to gain CONCACAF Observatory Member status and, then, Associate Membership in 1991.
Ursulet was a respected member of multiple CFU and CONCACAF committees from 1982 to 1998.