Jack Warner Knows How to Win an Election

In 1996, Captain Horace Burrell was the President of the Jamaican Football Federation, and thus was one of the lavishly pampered delegates to the FIFA Congress in Zurich.

Seeing as this was basically a splendid all-expenses paid vacation to one of the finest hotels in the world, Captain Burrell thought he'd bring along a guest, to share the experience.

So Horace brought along one Miss Vincy Jalal, an absolutely stunning young lady There were mutterings that she wasn't so much a "freind" as a sort of temporary "employee" of sorts, but no one was rude enough to mention it and, in any case, he'd hardly be the only one there who brought along that kind of companionship. The Alps can get cold at night, right?

But then a calamity happened: just before the vote on Jack Warner's proposal to give CONCACAF a third seat on the Executive Council - a seat which, of course, Jack would control, thus vastly expanding his power within FIFA - they received word from Dr. Jean-Marie Kyss, President of Haiti's Football Federation, that he was stuck in Port-au-Prince and wouldn't be coming.

Everyone knew that the vote was going to be close. Not everyone in FIFA was thrilled about this blatant Warner power grab, and he needed all the votes he could get. And now he was down one.

Frantically, they looked around for someone they could claim was from Haiti, but all the stooges without an assigned role were white Europeans or Asians, which wouldn't do at all.

Then they remembered: Vincy Jalal was black. Good enough.

So Miss Jalal, reportedly looking particularly smashing in red spike heels and a lovely couture dress the Captain had bought her the day before in an exclusive Zurich shop, took Haiti's chair at the FIFA Congress.

And in an especially nice touch, when they called the roll of nations, Miss Jalal responded "Oui" even though apparently that would be the extent of her knowledge of French.

Or at least, the language.

And when it was Haiti's turn to step forward and mark their ballot, reportedly the entire assemblage was transfixed by Miss Jalal's...um...."assets" as she walked to the front of the room to cast her vote for Jack Warner.

Unfortunately for Captain Burrell - the title comes from his days in the Jamaican Defense Force, and he loves it so much that he named his string of bakeries "Captain's" - not everyone in the Jamaican football community enjoyed getting the same thing that Vincy Jalal was getting, and he was tossed out of office in 2004 by a guy named Boxhill who promised to stop using JFF money to build lavish headquarters facilities and leaving the players virtually penniless.

Here's the Captain in front of his latest expansion outlet, in the Caymans. The guy with him, his partner in this store, is the head of the Cayman Islands Football Federation

But of course Jack Warner, a man who takes care of his friends, consoled the Captain by making him CONCACAF Director of Marketing and, among other things, head of the "Ethics" committee at the 2006 World Cup.

Then, last November, when the JFF elections came around again, Captain Burrell won back the Presidency, mostly because he ran unopposed. Seems the man who replaced him dropped out of the race after noticing that Burrell had signed up as the main financial sponsor for 11 of the 14 entities who are eligible to cast votes for the Presidency and felt that, perhaps, the deck was stacked against him.

Go figure.

Which is why Burrell was in London yesterday, GETTING ENGLAND TO FORGIVE A J$22 MILLION DEBT owed the FA from the Jamaica/England friendly a couple years back.

Regardless of whether the FA is naive enough to believe that Burrell actually plans on using the money - which supposedly doesn't actually exist anyway - on some vague "development" plan, England is in a mood right now to keep Jack Warner happy. And taking care of Captain Burrell makes Jack happy.

From there he flew to Turin and SIGNED A US$1.7 MILLION SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH KAPPA before hopping on to Switzerland to kiss Sepp Blatter's ring - excuse me, for "consultation" with the Head of FIFA.

Perhaps while he's there, they can chat about the guy who arranged the Kappa deal for him:

Captain Burrell disclosed that yesterday's signing was the hard work of his team, including Peter Hargitay, chairman of the European Consultancy Network (ECN), which was secured by the JFF earlier this year.

Yes, that would be THE SAME PETER HARGITAY, international fixer, con man, thug for hire and "special advisor" to Sepp Blatter.

These are heady days for the Captain, and for Jack. Funny how these things turn out. I just hope Miss Jalal is happy too.

**LATE EDIT:

I can't believe that I dropped a piece: one of The Captain's first acts was to terminate the contract of our old friend Bora Milutinovic as the JFF's Technical Director, accusing Bora of unspecified "breach of contract".

Burrell has replaced him with the guy who lost the job when Burrell lost his, Brazilian Rene Simoes. Bora is reportedly owed US$338,000, none of which he is likely to see any time soon.