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U.S. Soccer focuses on transparent Copa America amid confederation arrests


Following the arrests of CONCACAF’s and CONMEBOL’s presidents on Thursday, U.S. Soccer shared a statement to ensure that the presidents’ arrests in no way represent the federation’s involvement in hosting Copa America Centenario.

Alfredo Hawit, interim president of CONCACAF, and CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout were arrested in Zurich on Thursday. Next summer’s Copa America will be hosted on U.S. soil, in spite of complications, and Napout confirmed the decision in September.

On Wednesday, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL awarded commercial rights for next year’s Copa America Centenario to IMG and Soccer United Marketing (SUM). The latter of the pair is the marketing arm of MLS and represents U.S. Soccer commercial rights.

“Today’s events involving individual members of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL in no way pierce the integrity of the rigorous safeguards the United States Soccer Federation required before agreeing to host Copa America Centenario that ensure the tournament is organized and conducted in a way that is open, transparent and above reproach,” a statement from U.S. Soccer said.

“The new Executive Committee that was created to govern the tournament does not include these individuals and they were never in a position to make decisions that would adversely impact those high standards. As the LOC for the tournament, the United States Soccer Federation remains fully focused on the organization and operation of Copa America Centenario, and conducting the tournament in the most professional and highly principled manner possible.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Napout said that he and Hawit were “pleased” and “excited” to have participated in a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, which saw an independent third party advisory firm choose the same marketing firm, SUM, that represents U.S. Soccer as the tournament’s handler of sponsorship arrangements and broadcast deals.

“This is the first time that CONMEBOL has played a part in this type of RFP process — which we will continue to implement in the future, starting in 2016,” Napout said.

“This commitment is an integral part of the governance reforms taking place at CONMEBOL in order to ensure transparency and benefit all our member associations.”

What do you think of U.S. Soccer’s statement? What are your thoughts on the arrests of CONCACAF’s and CONMEBOL’s presidents?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The arrests today are only in response to the ongoing Copa Centenario kickback scandal.

    The 800 lb Gorilla in the room is the comments that Blatter made recently that essentially blamed Platini for backing out of a “Gentleman’s Agreement” to award the US and Russia the rights to the next two WC’s. Platini backed out of the “deal” at the request of then French President Nicola Sarkosy, who were close to cementing a deal to sell fighters and arms to Qatar and asked Platini and to put his country above his position at FIFA. This is a clear violation of FIFA’s ethic’s code, (What;s new here?) but is usually dealt with by suspending all officials of the country breaking the code AND the country itself!! France could and should be suspended from FIFA!! Like Iraq was when its football federation was taken over by the son of Sadam Hussein. When the government interferes with the operation of it’s national federation or FIFA, a suspension or penalty is mandated.

    But that answers one question: The WC vote was admittedly tainted. But both FIFA presidential candidates from the Middle East, have previously admitted that they see no reason to re-vote and take away the WC from Qatar.
    And that raises more questions on transparency and the current system in FIFA than it answers.

    • Unfortunately, I have a sneaking suspicion that when the chips fall Sunil may very well be involved at some level, to some degree. If you get time and are bored, look up his comments, stance and voting record in regards to Sepp Blatter.

      Either he’s a pacifist and not looking out for the integrity of the sport, and for our region, or he’s implicated himself.

  2. “Today’s events involving individual members of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL in no way pierce the integrity of the rigorous safeguards the United States Soccer Federation required before agreeing to host Copa America Centenario ”
    Actually, it does.


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