Webb sets the football agenda and contributes with insights on key industry issues
London (Wednesday, October 8, 2014) – During an interview session today at the Leaders in Football conference, FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb shared the formula of CONCACAF’s reform and the factors behind it, since taking office over two years ago. From governance to development – as revealed through success at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil -- the Confederation has drawn an effective roadmap for change.
“In the most challenging environment, we acted decisively to reform the Confederation while continuing to invest in our future,” shared Webb with the assembled audience. “Immediately after taking office in May 2012, we initiated a roadmap to reform to enable the development of good governance structures, deliver a strategy for sustainable growth and provide the tools to support Member Associations. It’s been a period of planning, building and dreaming on creating opportunities to grow football within CONCACAF.”
As part of the roadmap to reform, the new administration’s priority was to rectify all relevant internal matters, so that the Confederation could focus on developing, managing, and promoting the game. Following CONCACAF’s independent investigative report, which was made public in April 2013, the mandate for openness and transparency was made a reality.
Other noticeable reforms were highlighted by the equitable and inclusive participation of Member Associations on all levels of decision making, the optimization of resources to achieve greater efficiencies and the application of financial controls. Each of those elements have contributed to the process of regaining the trust and confidence of partners, sponsors and stakeholders. Compared to 2012, broadcasting, sponsorship and ticketing revenue increased by 405%.
“This is a new era for CONCACAF, a new chapter based on building a powerful structure of integrity, transparency and accountability to allow our region to grow,” added Webb. “We have gained the trust required to attain the contribution that creates a strong organization like the one we are envisioning.”
Currently, Webb’s agenda is centered on player development, a priority for which CONCACAF has tripled its investment. An estimated 70% of CONCACAF’s budget over the next 12 months will be dedicated for approximately 80 development programs. All of this extends to women’s football, where CONCACAF has the most female players per capita in the world. Moreover, 23% of the 26 million women players around the world are in the region.
“We are hosting a seminar in the coming weeks in Philadelphia called Let’s Develop Women’s Football,” Webb announced. “This will be a true celebration which will further establish our Confederation’s commitment to the women’s game by highlighting the success stories of our region and providing our Member Associations with new strategies and ideas.”
This year, CONCACAF hosted both of FIFA’s youth-related World Cups for women (FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica and FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada). In 2015, Canada will host the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
To further youth advancement, CONCACAF organized its first under-15 championships for boys (2013) and girls (2014). Additionally, the Confederation conducted nearly 80 development- and referee-related courses last year.
CONCACAF has turned its focus towards the game’s development in a geographical region consisting of 540 million people. It is a hub for each of its 41 members, which have appreciated the organization’s efforts to become an inclusive organization that invests in their progress and growth. Its priority areas are competitions, grassroots, futsal, beach and women’s football.
In just the past two years, CONCACAF’s level of achievement has been dramatic: a successful method of reform; a record-breaking Gold Cup; an impressive performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup; introduction and implementation of the Embrace Diversity campaign to promote integration within football; realization of its inaugural Under-15 Championships; the 2016 Centennial Cup America announcement and hosting all FIFA Women’s tournaments in its region; among others.
“CONCACAF has set a clear course and we are all participating in the rebirth process. It is very rewarding to be leading the way into a promising future for the region,” concluded Webb.