Home Global Game CONCACAF Living in the limelight: Montagliani takes the CONCACAF reins

Living in the limelight: Montagliani takes the CONCACAF reins


Since he announced his candidacy, Canadian Soccer Association has been the frontrunner in the race to become the new CONCACAF president.

But, just minutes after he was elected, it feels surreal. A Canadian now has the levers of power in his hands. Of course, he has a massive job; in a FIFA community that’s dogged by scandals, CONCACAF may be the most corrupt member of the family. Three previous presidents have all been caught with their hands in a very, very, large cookie jar.

Heck, just by not getting arrested, Montagliani could do nothing else and arguably be the best president CONCACAF has had in a very long time.

“I am truly honoured to have the confidence of CONCACAF’s members as we move into a new football first era for our confederation,” said Montagliani in a release issued by the Canadian Soccer Association. “Our members have voted in favour of reform, and I am committed to ensuring CONCACAF rebuilds its credibility with the football world and to position and ready the organization to deal effectively with the evolving global game.”

Now, of course, there will be those who jump on the bandwagon and think this offers a huge boost for Canada’s 2026 World Cup bid. But, where a World Cup is staged is up to a FIFA vote, not a CONCACAF one. What is notable is a major part of Montagliani’s platform is to ensure that a CONCACAF nation gets the 2026 World Cup. The region hasn’t staged a World Cup since the Americans played host in 1994.

He said Thursday that “it’s very realistic” one of the three CONCACAF nations looking to host the 2026 World Cup — Canada, the United States and Mexico — will get it.

“My country, Canada, put on the greatest Women’s World Cup in history, and broke all kinds of records,” he said.

If Canada does go ahead with its World Cup bid, Montagliani won’t be at the helm. He confirmed that, as per regulations, he has one year to leave his post as the Canadian Soccer Association’s president.

“I will not be finishing my term,” he said.

At some point in the next 12 months, Montagliani will turn over the reins to his vice-president.

Montagliani’s platform includes a cost-benefit of analysis of increasing the Gold Cup from 12 to 16 teams. Ethical business practices would be implemented “in order to build a CONCACAF brand reflecting trust and integrity.”

In his platform, Montagliani stated that “I believe leadership is about service, not about power.” That alone would be a massive cultural shift for an organization know for cronyism. In his press conference, he said that he intends to be a full-time president, but won’t relocate to CONCACAF’s seat of power in Miami.

“This is full-time position, but I will have 41 offices,” he said.

And this is a big one. Montagliani’s platform calls for the organization to “lead a process where CONCACAF plays a stimulus role in providing solutions for players to have more accessibility to professional environments. CONCACAF to lead process with its members to generate opportunities in the creation of leagues, regionally (Caribbean) or domestically (Canada).”

If this means that a Canadian Premier League could eventually receive incentives from CONCACAF, that could be the biggest gift that a Canadian president could give back to his nation.

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  1. Kent

    May 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I thought it was originally reported when he announced he was running, that he wouldn’t have to resign as CSA president. From the point of view of avoiding corruption in CONCACAF I am glad he has to give up his CSA job, but I am disappointed he is quitting before getting the CPL up and running. Although it sounds like he could still contribute to the creation of the league in his new role.

  2. Jeff Salisbury

    May 12, 2016 at 10:56 am

    If Mont Vic uses CONCACAF incentives to help Canada establish and solidify a Canadian Premier League, will we all get small busts of him to place on our mantles, Steve?

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