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Acting president hopes CONCACAF can refocus

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Acting president hopes CONCACAF can refocus

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NEW YORK  – Honduran Alfredo Hawit, who has been named in a CONCACAF release as the new acting president of the continental governing body, says he hopes the focus can return to football with yesterday’s start of the Gold Cup here.
 A statement released from CONCACAF headquarters here on Saturday announced that the majority of the executive committee had reached a decision to sack Lisle Austin, who had been acting as president over the last week in the absence of the suspended Jack Warner.
 Hawit, a senior vice-president of the football body, was named as Austin’s replacement but with CONCACAF deeply embroiled in division, it remained unclear who was in charge of the troubled organisation.
 “Tomorrow we launch the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup before a sold-out Cowboys Stadium in Dallas,” Hawit said.
 “This marks the 20th anniversary of the Gold Cup and we are confident this year’s edition will be our best ever. I trust it will help bring everyone’s attention back to where it belongs – the field.”
The new development marked yet another twist in the fallout from the Caribbean Football Union corruption scandal, which has seen the powerful Warner and Asian football chief Mohamed bin Hammam suspended by FIFA, pending investigations into bribery allegations.
Hawit said he was “honoured” to serve in his new role and backed CONCACAF’s resolve to rebound from the scandal.
“While I regret the circumstances that resulted in this situation, I accept my new responsibility with maximum seriousness, dedication and enthusiasm,” he said.
“We are clearly passing through a difficult time. However, I steadfastly believe that CONCACAF will overcome these challenges and reach even greater heights.
 “I stand ready to work with our current administration, executive committee and member associations to ensure that our Confederation is as unified and successful as possible. I encourage everyone to join me in this mission.”
Austin has rejected Hawit’s appointment, claiming the meeting to remove him was “illegal”.
The June 5 to 25 tournament will feature 12 teams clashing across 13 United States cities. (CMC)