From Left to Right: CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb, FENAFUTH President, Rafael Callejas (Honduras), Andres Constansia (Curacao), Aaron Padilla (Mexico) and FIFA President, Joseph Blatter.
The Confederation honors exemplary figures for their contributions to football
PARADISE ISLAND, The Bahamas (Wednesday, April 15, 2015) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced today the induction of three individuals, each of whom represent the best of football in the region, into its Hall of Fame.
The honorees are Rafael Callejas, President of the Federacion Nacional Autonoma de Futbol de Honduras (FENAFUTH); Andres Constansia, an accomplished player and executive from Curacao; and Aaron Padilla, an outstanding player, who has contributed greatly to football’s growth in Mexico.
CONCACAF also presented the President’s Award to Mexico and the United States for their gold medal wins at the 2012 Olympic Football Tournaments, capturing the men’s and women’s competitions, respectively.
”The Hall of Fame is the perfect occasion to honor prominent individuals such as Rafael Callejas, Andres Constansia and Aaron Padilla, each of whom have impacted the history of the sport and our Confederation,” said FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb. “Whether on or off the field, their passion, dedication and spirit for the beautiful game, have enlightened CONCACAF and molded the region’s football to what it is today. I am sure their legacy will continue inspiring the sport’s growth.”
President Webb, alongside FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, presented awards to each of the honorees. With the addition of Callejas, Constansia, and Padilla, the CONCACAF Hall of Fame has grown to 36 members. The ceremony also featured global football figures, including Luis Figo, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein and Michael van Praag, among numerous others in attendance.
The 2012 Olympic Games marked the first time that two teams from the same confederation won gold in men's and women's football. Thanks to their impressive performances, the Mexico men and United States women merited CONCACAF’s highest honor.
“I am extremely proud of the Mexico men’s and United States women’s Olympic teams,” President Webb expressed. “They reached the pinnacle of the sport, demonstrating their outstanding talent and the greatness of the CONCACAF Member Association’s football to the world. Our 2012 Olympic Games gold medal winners are the embodiment of the Confederation’s efforts. Their achievements should encourage all Member Associations to continue developing the game across our region.”
The Confederation’s XXX Ordinary Congress and XXI Extraordinary Congress will be held Thursday at the Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, The Bahamas.
2015 CONCACAF Hall of Fame Inductees
Rafael L. Callejas Romero
President of the Federacion Nacional Autonoma de Futbol de Honduras (FENAFUTH) on two occasions, 1984 and 2002-2015, Mr. Callejas dedicated himself to strengthening football’s foundations in the country. His efforts have yielded tremendous success in numerous areas, directly impacting youth football through the growth of grassroots initiatives and various youth programs. In addition, Callejas has improved the sport’s infrastructure, while advancing a FIFA Goal Project. Under his leadership, Honduran national teams have participated in two FIFA World Cups (2010, 2014), two Olympic Football Tournaments (2008, 2012), two FIFA U-20 World Cups (2005, 2009) and three FIFA U-17 World Cups (2007, 2009, and 2013.)
Andres Avelino Constansia
Born in Curacao on November 10, 1936, Mr. Constansia has worked tirelessly on behalf of football for more than 50 years. He started as a player for Jong Colombia, before taking coaching and executive positions within his beloved club. Under his supervision, Jong Colombia captured numerous Curacao league and Netherlands Antilles Championship titles. Through his commitment and dedication to football’s development, Mr. Constansia served as President of the Federashon Futbol Korsou (Curacao Football Federation) and the Nederlands Antilliaanse Voetbal Unie (Netherlands Antilles Football Union), was a Caribbean Football Union board member and sat on FIFA’s Financial Committee. He was also inducted into the Curacao Sports Federation’s Hall of Fame.
Aaron Padilla Gutierrez
Born in Mexico City on July 10, 1942, Mr. Padilla was known for his unlimited stamina and uncanny ball control during a distinguished playing career. He represented Mexico in two FIFA World Cups (1966, 1970), playing in six games. Beyond the football pitch, his passion and dedication led him to fulfill important roles within Mexican football. Mr. Padilla has been a leader within the Federacion Mexicana de Futbol Asociacion (FEMEXFUT), guiding its Disciplinary Committee (1992-2002) and the Referee Committee (2006-2012), eventually becoming an advisor to the Federation’s presidency.
Previous CONCACAF Hall of Fame 2013 inductees include: Ariel Alvarado (Panama), Jesus Martinez (Mexico), Lincoln “Happy” Sutherland (Jamaica), and Joseph Ursulet (Martinique).
From Left to Right: CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb, U.S. Soccer President, Sunil Gulati, FEMEXFUT President, Justino Compean, and FIFA President, Joseph Blatter.
CONCACAF President’s Award
United States Women’s National Team
The U.S. women won a third consecutive gold medal and fourth overall at the Olympic Games, defeating Japan, 2-1, in the 2012 final.
Message from United States Women’s National Team Captain, Christie Rampone
Mexico Men’s Olympic Team
Mexico added Olympic gold to its expanding resume of FIFA titles, posting a 2-1 victory over Brazil in the 2012 final. Mexico has also won two U-17 World Cups (2005, 2011) and one Confederations Cup (1999).
Previous 2013 President’s Award recipients include: Carlos Ruiz (Guatemala), Ian Gaynair (Belize) and Woodrow West (Belize).
Message from Mexico Men’s Olympic Team Captain in 2012, Jose de Jesus Corona