Blazer Resigns as CONCACAF General Secretary

CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer has given notice to the confederation's Executive Committee that he is resigning his position, effective Dec 31, 2011.

Blazer, the former Commissioner of the American Soccer league (ASL) and also a former USSF Executive Vice President, acceded to the position in 1990 after helping Jack Warner of Trinidad win the CONCACAF Presidency from Joaquin Soria Terrazos of Mexico.

At that time, the organization was run out of a small office in Guatemala consisting of two desks and a small, battered conference table. It's entire yearly revenues amounted to around $140,000 and CONCACAF was barely a blip on the world's footballing radar.

It had no sponsors, no TV deals of any kind and the one bare bones competition it conducted, the Champions Cup, consisted of 12 teams all of whom had to pay their own expenses to participate.

Currently, with major corporate sponsorships and TV contracts for prize money events like Champions League and Gold Cup, CONCACAF brings in well over $40 million a year, allowing smaller nations who had never even fielded a team previously to begin to participate in international soccer.

The reasons for Blazer's resignation from CONCACAF are not known, although surely the current controversy swirling around the organization has a good deal to do with it. Particularly among the Caribbean federations, many of whom retain a strong sense of loyalty to former President Jack Warner and who blame Blazer - fairly or not - for his being forced to resign last June.

At the same time, Blazer still has the strong support of those federations who are opposed to the kind of rampant corruption and bribery which was demonstrated by the Bin Hammam visit to Port of Spain last may.

In any case, despite the claims of former CONCACAF President for a Day Lisle Austin, only the Executive Committee - not the President and not the confederation Congress - can hire or fire the General Secretary.

And since that body currently consists of five men (two each from North and Central America and one, Horace Burrell, from the Caribbean) the majority of whom staunchly supported Blazer when the controversy broke during the FIFA Congress, it's doubtful he's being forced out.

Furthermore, CONCACAF has no intention of holding an election to replace Warner until 2013, and there is no mechanism for replacing Austin - the senior vice President - until his year long ban expires next summer.

However, if Austin returns, as he's expected to do, then the rules seem to insist that he then becomes the acting President, and it's possible that that too weighed in the decision; the President and the GenSec work closely on an almost daily basis and it's hard to see how that would be even remotely possible.

In any case, Blazer will continue as a member of FIFA's Executive Committee until the summer of 2013 and will retain all of his FIFA administrative positions.