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U.S. and Mexico to compete for FIFA executive spot

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati speaks at a news conference where Former German soccer star Juergen Klinsmann was named as the new head c
U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati speaks at a news conference where Former German soccer star Juergen Klinsmann was named as the new head c

By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - The United States and Mexico, who meet in a crucial World Cup qualifier later this month, are also going head-to-head in the election for a place on FIFA's powerful executive committee.

CONCACAF, the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean, said U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati and Mexican Football Federation president Justino Compean will face off in an election on April 19 in Panama City.

The pair are standing for the position of North American representative to FIFA's executive but a vote will be taken of all CONCACAF's member associations at the April congress.

The position was held for 16 years by American Chuck Blazer, who has not put himself forward for a fifth term.

The vote will provide a barometer of the balance of power within CONCACAF after the scandal involving former president Jack Warner, who resigned after allegations of 'cash for votes' in the FIFA presidential election.

Trinidadian Warner dominated CONCACAF from the late 1980's and his departure in June 2011 has led to major changes in the body.

Gulati also faces a challenger for a place on CONCACAF's own executive -- Canadian Victor Montagliani is standing against the American.

CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb was nominated unopposed to be the representative of the Caribbean associations - Webb is a member of the Cayman Islands Football Association and is a FIFA vice-president.

The position of Central American representative to FIFA, currently held by Guatemalan Rafael Salguero, is not up for election in this cycle.

Mexico host the United States at the Azteca stadium on March 26 in the fight for one of three automatic places available from qualifying in the CONCACAF region for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

(Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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