Austin says has court backing to lead CONCACAF

BRIDGETOWN, (Reuters) – Lisle Austin, the ousted  acting president of CONCACAF, said yesterday he had won a  court ruling in the Bahamas allowing him to return to office.  

In a strongly worded statement, Austin said he fully  intended to resume control of the embattled federation and vowed  to conduct a full audit of CONCACAF’S financial affairs.  

He said the court had ruled the CONCACAF executive committee  that suspended him and appointed Alfredo Hawit in his place, was  in contempt of court because they ignored an earlier injunction.  

“In its ruling yesterday (Wednesday) the Bahamian Court held  that CONCACAF is in contempt of court as a result of its  disobedience of the terms of the Order dated 10 June, 2011,” the  statement read.
  
“As a result of the contempt, the Court did not allow  CONCACAF to proceed with its hearing to discharge the order.  Therefore, the injunction against CONCACAF remains in place.”  
 
CONCACAF was not immediately available to comment.   
Austin, as the most senior vice-president, became acting  head of the confederation for North and Central America and the  Caribbean when long-standing president Jack Warner was suspended  by FIFA’s Ethics Committee after bribery allegations last month.
  
Warner, who denies any wrongdoing, later resigned but  Austin, after trying to sack the regional body’s American  general secretary Chuck Blazer, was himself suspended by a  majority of the CONCACAF executive committee.  

That suspension was extended to a bar from all international  football activities by world governing body FIFA, who said he  had broken their rules by going to the courts.  

“The organization cannot interfere with my ability to  perform my duties as Acting President. It is my intention to  lead CONCACAF into an era of transparency, accountability and  reform,” Austin said in the statement. 

“I will begin to assume my responsibilities at CONCACAF’s  offices in New York at a specified time in the very near future  and will move forward with a forensic accounting review of all  of CONCACAF’s financial operations for the past five years.”  

Austin said the judge had ruled that he should have access  to everything he needs to conduct the audit and he would  consider more legal action if anyone opposed him.

“There are indications of questionable financial activities  and CONCACAF – and association football – cannot advance until a  full and transparent examination of the organization is  complete,” he said.

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