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Former CONCACAF vice-president Horace Burrell dies at age of 67

Associated Press From ESPN FC

Horace Burrell, a long-serving Caribbean football official and former ally of several controversial FIFA vice-presidents, has died at the age of 67.

CONCACAF said Burrell had died on Tuesday, with Jamaican media reporting that he had been a patient at the Johns Hopkins Cancer Treatment Centre in Baltimore, Maryland.

Burrell oversaw Jamaica’s qualification for the 1998 World Cup during two stints as president of the country’s football federation from 1994-2003 and since 2007.

“Captain Burrell’s commitment and vision for the sport contributed to create a strong legacy for the game within the region,” CONCACAF said in a statement.

Burrell gave the Caribbean region continuity at CONCACAF and FIFA through the corruption scandals that have flared since 2011.

He was a FIFA disciplinary committee member, but lost that duty in 2011 when he was banned for three months in a Caribbean bribery case during that year’s FIFA presidential election.

Burrell, who had not cooperated fully with a FIFA-appointed investigation, was not implicated in taking money in a scandal that removed CONCACAF president Jack Warner from football.

He rejoined FIFA’s inner circle within weeks of his ban expiring in 2012 and was appointed to the committee organising Olympic football tournaments.

As CONCACAF cleaned its house in fallout from scandals, Burrell served as its No. 2 elected official and the most senior Caribbean in the 40-nation group.

Warner was replaced as CONCACAF leader and FIFA vice-president by Jeffrey Webb, once a business partner of Burrell’s in a Cayman Islands branch of the Captain’s Bakery and Grill restaurant chain.

In May 2015, both Webb and Warner were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a sprawling and ongoing investigation of bribery and corruption in international football linked to FIFA.

Webb has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentence, while Warner is fighting extradition to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago.

A third CONCACAF president, Alfredo Hawit of Honduras, was also indicted and arrested later in 2015.

IMAGE: Horace Burrell oversaw Jamaica’s qualification for the 1998 World Cup.

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