But How was the Foie Gras?

So it wasn't bad enough that FA boss Sir Richard Triesman was required to attend Jack Warner's little soire the other day as penance for having "insulted" him earlier this year.

No, to really rub it in, Triesman was given a spot at the head table, along with Warner, Sepp Blatter, Joao Havelange, Michael Platini and....Peter Hargitay. Indeed, Triesman found that his little name card was conveniently placed right next to Hargitay's.

In fact, as the MAIL ONLINE POINTS OUT every single power player in world soccer was at the table except for Asian Soccer Tyrant Mohammed bin Hamman, but it's OK, since Hargitay currently works for him.

You'll recall that Hargitay, a sleazy international fixer and "Special Assistant" to Sepp Blatter, as well as owner of a shady international espionage-for-hire agency, was contracted - on Blatter's recommendation - to head up England's World Cup bid.

Then noted soccer journalist Andrew Jennings published a scathing article pointing out that England had climbed into bed with one of the signally corrupt people in the civilized world - who promptly threatened to beat Jennings up - and England, red-faced. cut him loose.

Say, you don't suppose that Warner and Blatter were sending some kind of message by parking Hargitay - and what the hell was he doing there anyway - smack next to Triesman at the head table, do you?

Subtlety isn't these guy's long suit.

Because I have so many ugly vices, I've always stayed away from doing much gaming. (although all the pinball machines stashed around the place in various stages of repair might say otherwise) but HERE'S A PRESS RELEASE ABOUT FIFA 09 which sounds pretty cool.

Somebody download the demo tomorrow and tell me what it's like.

Just to show what a nice guy I am, let me send out a note of sympathy to my brothers North of the Border.

They began the year making some rather optimistic noises in regard to the prospects for the Canadian National Team to make their first World Cup since 1986, and in truth it seemed like they might have the horses to pull it off.

Yet here they are, playing just their third qualifier tonight with their prospects fading faster than Big Brown making the home turn at the Belmont.

They've taken just one point from two home games - a tie with Jamaica at BEEMO followed by a loss to Honduras in Montreal - and are playing Mexico tonight down south where, in 50 years of qualifiers, Canada has never won.

If they can't salvage at least a point tonight - a daunting task to say the least - their campaign is pretty much over. Their three remaining games are Oct. 11 in Honduras, Mexico on Oct. 15 in Edmonton, and Nov. 19 at Jamaica. Just not a lot of points there for anybody.

Along the same lines there's THIS LUIS BUENO COMMENTARY IN THE PE which points out that CONCACAF really needs teams like Canada to become competitive instead of sending the same old group - Mexico, the US and Costa Rica, joined recently by T&T.

With situations like the US, which has not lost a road qualifier to a team that isn't Mexico or Costa Rica since a 2-1 loss at Canada in 1980, pretty much guaranteed a berth - despite the wailing and tooth-gnashing in various corners of BigSoccer - CONCACAF is, well, just pretty dull.

VIA THE INCOMPARABLE BEAU DURE comes word that the other half of the late lamented MISL has decided not to join the "interactive lifestyle Xtreme soccer platform" (whatever-in-the-hell that is) and form a regular old indoor soccer league.

While you're there, check out the link to the video of T&T's national team holding practice in a ballroom at the Chicago Marriott. If it wasn't for the fact that it really was raining you'd swear the US was finally getting with the CONCACAF program: finding new and creative ways to keep your opponent from holding a meaningful practice.

From WorldCupBlog comes some comments on the fact that SOUTH AFRICA WON'T QUALIFY FOR THEIR OWN WORLD CUP.

Of course, as host they will get an automatic entry, but they really, really wanted to earn their way in. And besides missing out on some quality competition that would have helped them a lot come the finals, there's the question of just what happens if by some chance the WC has to be moved?