Miami (Friday, June 2, 2017) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced that Manolo Zubiria has been appointed as Chief of Football Officer, effective June 26, 2017. He will lead the division of Football Operations, providing overall management and execution of CONCACAF’s tournaments, major events, as well as football development programs.
The Chief of Football Officer position was created as part of CONCACAF’s recent re-organization to continue building a stronger and more efficient Confederation focused on investing in growing football across the region and advancing the overall business of the organization.
“We are very pleased to welcome Mr. Zubiria as our Chief of Football Officer. With his wealth of experience and understanding of our Confederation’s culture, his role will be critical as we continue growing the game through our ONE CONCACAF Vision,” said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani. “Mr. Zubiria will be instrumental in leading the management and evolution of our football operations, while helping achieve our organization’s strategic priorities to take the game to the next level.”
Mr. Zubiria joins CONCACAF from AS Roma, where he spent the last four seasons as the Head of Team Operations. His tenure at Roma was marked by operational improvements as well as competitive success for the club, including three-second place finishes in Serie A and qualification to the UEFA Champions League in three of the four seasons. Previously, he served as CONCACAF’s Director of Competitions and Director of Marketing and TV. His first involvement in football came in 2003 at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Chief of Football Officer will have direct oversight of the departments of Competitions, Development, Disciplinary, Hospitality and Events, Refereeing, and Women’s Football. He will work side-by-side with the Chief Officers of the Finance and Administration, Commercial, and Legal and Compliance divisions.
“I am honored to take on this truly important role as the Chief of Football Officer at CONCACAF,” said Mr. Zubiria. “The Confederation is poised for greater growth. I look forward to working closely with our Council as well as the 41 Member Associations to develop a solid and sustainable football strategy that leverages the organization’s operational capabilities and opportunities more effectively.”
Mr. Zubiria succeeds the Confederation’s Interim Chief of Football Officer, Mr. Ted Howard, who has also served as Deputy General Secretary and has been with the organization since 1998. After Mr. Howard retires in July 2017, he will work closely with Mr. Zubiria on a transition through December 2017. During his tenure at CONCACAF, Mr. Howard has been instrumental in leading the Confederation, while making significant contributions to its success and positioning the region’s game for further growth.
Mr. Zubiria brings over 12 years of international experience within the sport industry working with global brands in diverse areas including event operations, marketing sponsorships, consulting, account and brand management, business expansion, professional football team management and development. He has a proven track record in managing major global events including the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, Summer Olympics, UEFA Champions League, Copa America Centenario USA 2016, CONCACAF Gold Cup and Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
CONCACAF engaged in a comprehensive public search before presenting a list of female and male candidates to the Confederation’s senior management and Council members.
Mr. Zubiria holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami in Florida and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Finance from the Boston College in Massachusetts.