CONCACAF supremo Jeffrey Webb on Tuesday ruled out any bid to replace world football chief Sepp Blatter in 2015 following reports suggesting he was being groomed as the FIFA president's anointed successor.
Webb, who heads the governing body for football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) told reporters in a conference call he had no designs on Blatter in two years time.
"No, definitely not," Webb said when asked about a possible bid for the FIFA Presidency. "That is not my intention or my objectives at this time. My focus is currently on CONCACAF," added FIFA vice-president Webb, who replaced scandal-tainted predecessor and long-time Blatter ally Jack Warner in 2011.
Speculation that Webb was in the frame for the most powerful job in world football erupted late Monday after remarks made by Blatter at the start of a five-day development summit taking place in the Caribbean. Blatter was incorrectly introduced to an audience of top officials and VIPs by a local media officer as "FIFA's vice-president." Blatter responded to the mistake by remarking: "I think you're a prophet." "(There may be) a new FIFA president in the near future and this president could be Jeffrey Webb." Although CONCACAF officials on Tuesday emphasized that Blatter's remarks were "very lighthearted", it has not prevented the comments from being scrutinized for their possible significance amid ongoing intrigue over the FIFA presidential elections in 2015. Blatter said in 2011 his current four-year term would be his last but has since given hints that he may yet seek a fresh term. The mystery over Blatter's intentions deepened earlier this month when the ageing FIFA chief denied reports he had cut a deal with UEFA President Michel Platini which would see the Frenchman take over in 2015. "I don't make deals. The FIFA president is elected by the congress," Blatter was quoted as saying by the DPA news agency.
FIFA's Congress is to elect a president in 2015 in Zurich.