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CONCACAF lays out reform plan post-scandal: “People are right to be skeptical”

Law Enforcement Officials Search Offices Of CONCACAF And Soccer Event Company In Miami Over FIFA Indictments

MIAMI BEACH, FL - MAY 27: FBI agents carry boxes from the headquarters of CONCACAF after it was raided on May 27, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. The raid is part of an international investigation of FIFA where nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives were charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)

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Mere hour after the completion of the Women’s World Cup, CONCACAF is laying out its plans to repair its reputation.

And in further proof the news has a sense of humor, it’s going to take a man named Gandhi to help CONCACAF right its ship in the wake of the ongoing FIFA scandal.

[ MORE: All the news from FIFA’s scandal, reforms ]

Sam Gandhi is the head of the legal firm advising CONCACAF in its attempts to fix its administration, one which saw many arrests in the pre-dawn raids earlier this summer and faces charges that run the gamut from bribery to racketeering.

CONCACAF released its “Reform Framework” early Monday morning, but the New York Times’ intrepid reporter Sam Borden was on the case a bit earlier in the day and spilled many relevant details.

From the New York Times:

While meaningful change will take time, the organization released what it called a framework for reform, laying out a number of proposed changes to the way it is governed. Some of the more notable ideas are the inclusion of fully independent members on the powerful executive committee, term limits for top officials and the publishing of top officers’ salaries and other compensation.


“People are right to be skeptical,” said Sam Gandhi, the head of corporate practice at the law firm Sidley Austin, which is advising Concacaf on matters including governance.

“We know we’re not asking people for a second chance; we’re asking them for a third chance,” Mr. Gandhi said. “So we get it. We’re not thumping our chests. We want people to watch what we do and judge us then.”

Gandhi’s tone hits all the right conciliatory notes, something that FIFA has been unable to do it in its response under Sepp Blatter.

It’s also worth noting that Borden claims the CONCACAF bylaws would pertain to its organization, not the individual nations, and would not necessarily affect power brokers like United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati. He’s been a proponent of world soccer reform for much of his 10 years in charge at the USSF, and boosted Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein in a campaign against Blatter last year.

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