FIFA General Secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen has today confirmed that he has instructed a firm of lawyers in New York, USA to initiate legal proceedings against the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) for defamation of character.

CONCACAF had until midnight, Monday 15 April to retract comments that had appeared on their website, claiming that the FIFA General Secretary had asked Jack A. Warner and Chuck Blazer, President and General Secretary of CONCACAF respectively, to support the candidature of Issa Hayatou in the upcoming FIFA presidential election. CONCACAF did not take any action by the specified deadline.

Furthermore, in view of recent letters received from CONCACAF and the opinion of the FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter on this matter, the FIFA General Secretary has no other option than to decline, against his will, attending the CONCACAF Congress, due to convene in Miami, USA this coming Saturday 20 April 2002.

For further information please contact:

Fifa Communications Division
Andreas Herren
T: +41 1254 9725