Sidley has been representing Concacaf – the governing international football confederation for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean – for over five years in the investigations of corruption in world football.
On Tuesday, August 24th, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it will return to Concacaf and two other international football organizations approximately US$201 million in funds recovered from individuals and entities implicated in the DOJ’s long-running investigation. Concacaf will receive over US$69 million of the funds, which will be used to further benefit football development in the Concacaf region. FIFA and CONMEBOL are the other football organizations that will receive the balance of the misappropriated funds, which will also be invested in football development activities.
Sidley initially served as counsel to the Concacaf Integrity Committee and in that capacity conducted an internal investigation of Concacaf’s former President Jack Warner and former General Secretary Chuck Blazer, the results of which were publicly reported. In 2015, after the highly publicized arrest of numerous FIFA officials in Zurich based on an indictment in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Sidley was retained again by Concacaf to represent the confederation before the DOJ and to conduct an internal investigation of the conduct of former Concacaf President Jeff Webb as well as others. Sidley completed the investigation and successfully advocated for the DOJ to consider Concacaf a victim organization instead of a culpable entity. The firm then represented Concacaf and the interests of a variety of Concacaf’s constituent federations, such as the Caribbean Football Union and the football federations of Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, in restitution proceedings before the U.S. District Court against various defendants.
Concacaf's remission claims were based in substantial part on the evidence Sidley identified through the investigations. The recovery of these funds through the DOJ remission process is a very successful culmination of this long engagement for Concacaf.
Timothy J. Treanor led the Sidley team representing Concacaf, which also included Michael A. Levy, John J. Kuster, Samir A. Gandhi, Eric G. Hoffman (all New York), and William D. Kerr (Chicago).