I thought I'd follow up yesterday's tale of open thievery with THIS NEWS OUT OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO in which our reind Jack Warner - who, remember, holds no office with the T&TFF other than "Special Advisor" - announcing that tickets for the upcoming England/T&T match will be available in three price ranges: $300 (uncovered stands), $600 (covered stands) and $1,200 (special reserve).
They helpfully note that if you can't afford a ticket, maybe you can catch a glimpse of a practice.
This game, of course, stinks to high heaven. It's nothing but a case of England groveling for the favor of a man who controls 35 FIFA votes and a large amount of power in the Executive board.
The humor, such as it is, is found in Warner's comments on how ticket sales will be conducted:
"I am not prepared to satisfy anybody's request for tickets outside the ticketing system," he said. "And I hope people will understand that. At least, on this occasion." Warner announced it is costing the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation $15 million to bring the England team to these shores. And, in addition, England have made certain demands, such as insisting that the playing surface is up to international standard.
So here we have Jack Warner, the most notorious ticket scalper in the civilized world, piously announcing that there'll be no backdoor deals on tickets.
And leaving aside the claim that, somehow, this is costing him $15 million, he goes on to admit that the silly Brits actually expect him to come up with a decent pitch somehow.
"I have again been asked to confirm that the playing surface is fit and ready," said Warner."I have not done that yet."
(What, he's been too busy to make a ten minute drive over to look at a soccer field? This is a man who spends half his life flying around the globe in chartered private jets to "inspect venues" at soccer events. I think the problem is that he can't expense a five star hotel for driving across town. Although I wouldn't put it past him to try.)
However, FIFA vice-president Warner said he has been assured that work is going on apace at the venue.
It's no wonder he has a long list of reporters he bans from these pressers; otherwise, surely someone would ask how it is that with $22 million in FIFA development money since 2001 and probably another $30 million in World Cup revenues, that T&T still doesn't have a soccer field suitable for a top level match.
"I have said that one of the legacies of this match shall be a football stadium," stated Warner.
How nice. Always looking out for the little guy, eh Jack?
Or at least the little guys with 300 bucks.