- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 20, 2012

GENEVA (AP) - The South American soccer confederation is being told it must act “immediately” to find a replacement for Ricardo Teixeira on FIFA’s executive committee.

Teixeira resigned his seat on world soccer’s governing body for “personal reasons” without elaborating on Monday, one week after leaving as president of Brazil’s soccer body and the 2014 World Cup organizing committee, citing unspecified health problems.

FIFA said its statutes require the South American body, known as CONMEBOL, to move quickly.

“CONMEBOL will now have to decide immediately on the replacement of Ricardo Teixeira as one of their representatives on the FIFA executive committee for the remaining period of office,” FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA’s 24-member ruling panel chaired by President Sepp Blatter meets next week in Zurich, though the embattled Teixeira was not expected to attend.

Blatter’s promised anti-corruption reforms are high on the agenda, as the committee is expected to receive a report from a panel of experts advising FIFA how to be more democratic, transparent and rigorous in its investigations.

The 64-year-old Brazilian skipped the previous meeting of FIFA’s high command, held in Tokyo in December, when Blatter had hoped to publish a Swiss court document relating to a scandal involving million-dollar kickbacks from World Cup broadcasting deals in the 1990s.

Teixeira is widely reported to be implicated in the scandal, but publication of the dossier was delayed because of a legal process brought by unidentified parties before Switzerland’s supreme court.

Teixeira had two years left on the elected post he held since 1994 representing the 10 South American soccer nations at FIFA.

CONMEBOL has three FIFA seats and traditionally elects one member from each of Brazil and Argentina.

It could send an interim replacement to Zurich for the March 29-30 session, until an election can be held.

FIFA’s executive committee already has one interim member and a vacant seat.

Asia has sent Chinese official Zhang Jilong in place of its confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam, who was banned for life by FIFA in an election bribery scandal last year.

Bin Hammam can’t be formally replaced until his appeal challenging the ban is decided by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Qatari official will face FIFA in court on April 18-19 in the Lausanne, Switzerland.

FIFA is also without a Caribbean delegate, as the CONCACAF confederation has not replaced disgraced former president Jack Warner who resigned all of his soccer duties last June to avoid investigation regarding the Bin Hammam in the bribery scandal.

CONCACAF’s 35 member countries are scheduled to elect a new president on May 23 in Budapest, before the FIFA Congress in the Hungarian capital. The deadline for candidate nominations is Sunday.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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