A seventh confederation within world football has moved closer after the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) agreed to discuss the possibility of breaking away from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).
The 31-member CFU is currently part of the CONCACAF but the organisation gave the green light to exploring a potential separation during an Executive Committee meeting in Miami.
It is claimed the CFU have grown tired of being dictated to by the CONCACAF and want to control their own issues, such as funding and youth development.
The move has been orchestrated by CFU president Gordon Derrick of Antigua, who was blocked from standing for the CONCACAF presidency in April of last year after failing an integrity check.
Derrick claimed the reason for his withdrawal from the race was to do with his involvement in the cash for votes scandal in the FIFA Presidential election in 2011.
There is growing frustration within the Caribbean body about the way they are treated within CONCACAF.
Support for the establishment of a Caribbean Football Confederation appears to be growing within the organisation, although Derrick admitted following his speech at the Miami meeting that they would have to evaluate exactly how they go about splitting from the CONCACAF as well as any legal implications.
It has been reported that the apparent marginalisation of the CFU by the CONCACAF, led by Canadian Victor Montagliani, is punishment for the fact that two previous presidents of the body – Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands’ Jeffrey Webb – have been indicted as part of the United States Department of Justice investigation into widespread corruption in world football.
Webb, from the Cayman Islands, has pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud conspiracy and three counts of money laundering conspiracy.
Both Webb and Warner have also been given life bans from football by FIFA.
It is thought, therefore, that CONCACAF are unwilling to let the CFU run its own finances as a result of their implication in the corruption scandal, which largely centres on bribes and kickbacks related to media and marketing rights for international matches.
Montagliani was elected president of the CONCACAF in May, prior to the FIFA Congress in Mexico City.
The Canadian is expected to oversee a bid for the 2026 World Cup, with the United States emerging as an early favourite.
This could include a joint attempt at securing the rights to the tournament with Canada and Mexico.