The power struggle at CONCACAF took another troubling turn after its executive committee voted to suspend its own acting president, Lisle Austin. Yesterday, CONCACAF’s communications manager Hema Ramkissoon in a letter sent to the media on behalf of Austin described the move as “illegal.” The claims being made by the CONCACAF Executive Committee that they have provisionally suspended Mr Lisle Austin, acting president of CONCACAF are illegal.
The action contravenes several articles of the CONCACAF Statutes. Having assumed the role of president under Article 29, Mr Austin, as president, is the only person authorised and empowered to call and chair meetings of the Congress, Executive Committee, and Emergency Committee and of the Committees. It necessarily follows that if the president did not convene or did not chair any meeting of the Executive Committee that any actions taken or decisions reached at said meeting are not only unenforceable but are ultra vires.
The current actions of the Executive Committee are not sanctioned by the Statutes of CONCACAF. It is enlightening for the football world to know that the Executive Committee in its flawed interpretation of Article 28 (o) not only has failed to engage in due process which is required in any disciplinary matter but has flouted the very statutory requirements articulated in the CONCACAF Statutes necessary to move in such a direction.
Article 28 (o) places the burden of proof on the accuser that a member of the Executive Committee has violated FIFA’s or CONCACAF’s statutes or regulatory provisions. It is no surprise then that the attempt at suspending Mr Austin through action that is ultra vires and illegal and has denied him the opportunity of a hearing, no opportunity for Mr Austin to hear the charges being levelled against him or to defend himself against whatever baseless charges would have been trumped up.
To date, Mr Austin is unaware of the grounds for which he has been illegally suspended and this conduct demonstrates the lawless activities of certain individuals. Some members of the Executive Committee are clearly engaging in illegal actions at the prodding of forces which do not have the best interest of CONCACAF at heart. Mr Austin intends to address their continued illegal action at all levels. And Members of the Executive Committee are now placed on notice.
Mr Austin rejects the press statement, claiming Alfredo Hawit is acting president of CONCACAF and wishes to advise member associations and staff members that anyone acting upon the instructions of Mr Hawit will be implicating themselves into illegal activities. Yet again the acting president Austin is saddened to note that the response from the CONCACAF Media Department is the fruit of illegal actions on the part of those who do not possess the constitutionally granted powers to utilise the Confederation’s equipment and resources. Mr Austin is both shocked and disheartened that the online publications of the Confederation are once again being employed to wage a war against the Office of the acting president, a war in which only the Confederation and its members will continue to suffer.