Apocalypse Jack

When you're a degenerate, corrupt thief scrambling to stay on the top of the heap, you can end up with some unsavory freinds.

Jack Warner is a case in point.

He has a freind named Patrick John. John used to be Prime Minister of Dominica which, in case you're not a fan of cartographic minutia, is a tiny island in the Caribbean which - not coincidentally - is a member of FIFA despite a recent census that showed only 500 soccer players on the whole island.

(Dominica having an equal vote in CONCACAF as Mexico, Jamaica and Canada may seem absurd to you, but at least they're an actual country. It's a little known fact that there are three more "National Associations" in CONCACAF than there are actual "nations", but the more associations you have the more votes Jack Warner casts in FIFA, so he likes it this way.)

Anyway, Patrick John was PM of Dominica for five years in the 1970's and then lost a bid for re-election. Not wanting to let a little thing like an election stand in the way, in 1981 he organized a coup attempt against his successor.

Now most of us tend not to sympathize with guys who try to have elected governments lined up against a wall and shot, but John manages to make the tale even more sordid:

Not having any particular support or money or any of that, he made a deal with a group of guys with whom Jack Warner himself would feel right at home: The Mafia and the Ku Klux Klan.

No, I am not making this up..

Seems the deal was that in return for putting Patrick John back in the PM's office on Dominica, the KKK would provide muscle, a Mob enforcer named "Chuckles" Yanover would provide the financing and, in return, they would have his permission to establish a chain of brothels and casinos on the island.

Someone spilled the beans and US Customs, the FBI and the ATF conducted a massive raid on a marina in New Orleans and arrested the perpetrators as they were getting ready to set sail for Dominica with a boatload of guns, dynamite and Nazi flags.

Patrick John did 12 years in prison.

So naturally, when John got out of the slammer, Jack Warner got this reprehensible criminal installed as the head of the Dominca FA.

Look, I said I wasn't making it up, OK?

In 2006 the DFA deposed John, accusing him of among other things "unaccountablity" (it seems money kept regularly vanishing) and elected a decent, honest guy named Dexter Francis.

Francis now says that he "knew there was going to be trouble" when, in 2007, Jack Warner announced Patrick John's induction into the CONCACAF Hall of Fame, citing his "profound impact" on the game.

Fast forward to last month when, in a scene Coppola didn't film but which could only be accompanied by the martial splendor of Flight of the Vakyries, Jack Warner unexpectedly flew into Dominca and declared that the board of the Dominca FA was dissolved, claiming a FIFA mandate to do so.

Warner told a media conference - apparently with a straight face - that the DFA was guilty of "the worst management I have ever seen". Apparently ther are no mirrors in Jack's house.

Warner then announced an interim "board" to run DFA and nominated - of course you saw this coming - his good freind Patrick John as the new Chief Executive.

There were only two problems: the first was that FIFA had no idea that they had "mandated" anything of the sort, and the second was that in 2006, due to public outcry, FIFA had established an "Ethics Committee", which is chaired by Sebastian Coe, KBE.

Lord Coe, one of the most famous amateur athletes in British history, is also head of the London Olympic Organizing Committee, a vice president of the IAAF and a man with an impeccable reputation.

So the DFA appealed to Lord Coe. There being no doubt whatsoever how Coe would rule on this, two weeks ago our old freind FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke issued a statement announcing that FIFA's Associations Committee "fully recognizes the democratically and rightfully elected president of the DFA, Dexter Francis...as being in charge of the DFA"

So naturally, Jack Warner is chastised, embarassed and in trouble over all of this, right? Why no indeed.

Sometime this week, John and Francis will appear at FIFA HQ in Zurich to present their "cases" to the Associations Committee, in a hearing demanded by Jack Warner, who is still determined to have his freind Patrick John installed as Chief Executive of the DFA.

Being Jack, he doesn't give up THAT easy.