[FIFA IN CRISIS]According statement issued late Tuesday afternoon by Concacaf, Barbadian Lisle Austin, appointed interim president of Concacaf on Monday in place of the suspended Jack Warner, had no authority to attempt to fire Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer.
"Today an unauthorized declaration was made by Lisle Austin attempting to remove Chuck Blazer as General Secretary of CONCACAF.
"This attempted action was taken without any authority. Under the CONCACAF Statutes, jurisdiction over the General Secretary rests solely with the CONCACAF Executive Committee which has taken no action. Further a majority of the Executive Committee Members have advised Mr. Austin that he does not have the authority to take such action.
"Chuck Blazer continues as CONCACAF General Secretary and with the full authority of his office. The Confederation continues its normal operations including the Gold Cup commencing on June 5th at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas."
In reports out of Zurich, site of the FIFA Congress, Austin declared he had fired Blazer, whose report to FIFA on the alleged bribery scheme that took place May 10-11 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in an effort to win votes for Mohamed bin Hammam's aborted presidential campaign triggered the FIFA firestorm that resulted in the suspensions of Warner and bin Hammam.
Austin, who claimed he made the move on legal counsel, said Blazer was fired for "inexcusable" conduct and "a gross misconduct of duty and of judgment."
He listed four charges against Blazer:
"1. On May 30, 2011 at the Swissotel, Zurich, Switzerland you grossly insulted and defamed every member of the Association of the Caribbean of the CONCACAF by stating categorically that each member association is under investigation for bribery; and
2. Without any authorisation whatsoever from the Executive Committee of CONCACAF you hired the law firm Collins and Collins to conduct an unauthorised investigation of CONCACAF and its personnel and members.
3. Deliberately not informing myself, as I am now for the moment the President of CONCACAF, of the CONCACAF Caucus prior to the FIFA Congress of June 1 and usurping the authority of the President to chair all meetings of CONCACAF including the Caucus.
4. Improperly appointing five non-elected members of CONCACAF to act as delegates to the FIFA Congress of June 1 rather than eligible elected members including myself, the acting President of CONCACAF."
In response to the Concacaf statement, Austin told the Trinidad Express the response from the CONCACAF Media Relations is "not only the fruit of illegal actions on the part of Mr. Blazer who is no longer the General Secretary, but is tantamount to trespassing since, the unauthorised use of CONCACAF's services and equipment by non-CONCACAF staff is unlawful."