CONCACAF chief rules out bid for FIFA job
CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb speaks on November 7, 2012 in Miami, Florida
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's job 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. FIFA's Congress to elect a president is in 2015 in Zurich.
Meanwhile, Webb said he would push for a return to FIFA's policy of rotating the World Cup between regions in future, saying CONCACAF had been the biggest victims of the shift towards taking the tournament to new territories.
"Rotation was working fine. If you look at Korea-Japan in 2002, then Europe, then Africa and then to South America," Webb told AFP.
"It's obvious that the region that got the worst of that, was CONCACAF because rotation stopped at that time...We have to look at new markets, of course, but for me I definitely would like to go back to rotation."
Webb said CONCACAF also planned to study the feasibility of a professional league involving franchises from across the Caribbean region.
"We have so much talent in the region. The game needs a professional league, a professional approach. In the last 100 years of FIFA we've had two teams from the English-speaking Caribbean qualify for the World Cup -- Jamaica in 1998 and Trinidad and Tobago in 2006," Webb said.
"Let's not make it another 100 years before we get that level of success again." Webb admitted that any league would be several years away however. "We will do a full analysis to see how realistic it is and then establish a strategic business plan," he said.