In the past I've compared FIFA Commandatore Sepp Blatter to everyone from Joseph Stalin to Hillary Clinton to the Marquis de Sade.
But I have to admit that I've never before seen him as Peter Pan:
"We have to trust in the Africans' ability to organise the competition. Trust will give them confidence. If they have confidence, they will be better in the future, not only as footballers, but as organizers,"
So, see, the only thing holding this event back is that not enough people believe and if we all just close our eyes and imagine ourselves flying through the air like an eagle - or Sepp's private Gulfstream III - why then surely it will happen.
What a beautiful vision. Everything will be fine because we "trust". Why, I'm getting all-goosepimply just thinking about it.
Then he ruins the whole thing by morphing into Pinocchio:
"For Fifa, it's not important to get money out of Africa, but it's important to us that the Africans enjoy organizing their own World Cup"
So Sepp says "Screw the billions of dollars FIFA makes off the World Cup. We don't care that 80% of our operating budget comes from this one event. After all, it's only money. What's really important is that "the Africans"have fun"
Why it's almost enough to make a man forget that the organizers are BECOMING CONCERNED THAT THE STADIUMS WON'T BE FULL
Or that "certain logistics problems are leaving the organizers WITH A "VERY TIGHT TIMETABLE" in terms of completing the physical infrastructure necessary for the World Cup
Or that the various construction projects are already £230 million over budget AND THE ORGANIZERS ARE GETTING NERVOUS ABOUT COSTS "SPIRALLING OUT OF CONTROL as if being £230 million over budget wasn't already something of an issue.
And it definitely would be very bad manners to point out to Little Mary Sunshine Blatter that THE INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULED FOR LAST WEEKEND AT THE KEY PORT ELIZABETH VENUE was a nightmare for all participants.
It seems the money to finance the tournament came from the government, which transferred the funds to the organizers whereupon it disappeared, so that among other things the teams were locked out of their hotels.
Fortunately, with an average of 50 fans attending each game, there wasn't much of anyone round to notice.
When the UEFA agents trying to manage the event got ahold of the Mayor, she was unfortunately unavailable due to "campaigning" (despite the lack of an election) and thus, sadly, couldn't come by and help look for the dough.
Visiting officials say they will file a report with FIFA. Personally, I would think just hanging it next to a toilet would be a better use of the paper, but that's just me.
Of course, we all know that Sepp Blatter has a pretty strong stomach when it comes to gross corruption. Heck, Jack Warner is one of his closest friends, and the stink from Jack Warner can be detected in Outer Space.
But even Sepp is having some difficulty swallowing THIS REMARKABLY BRAZEN ATTEMPT TO STEAL CHILDREN FROM POOR AFRICAN COUNTRIES and make them Qatari citizens eligible to play for the national side.
Of course, seeing as how Sepp and Jack's partner in international crime, AFC President and FIFA Executive Committee member Mohammed bin Hammann is - Whoa! What a coincidence! - a Qatari citizen, it's virtually certain that Blatter wil do nothing much more than harrumph about it a little.
The plan is really brilliant, and easy to pull off if you have tons and tons of oil money which - Hey! Another coincidence! - Qatar has in abundance.
You set up little "academies" in whatever poor, destitute country can be paid off to shut up about it, invite all the little boys in and test them to see if they have any soccer talent. So far they've screened around 650,000 kids.
If they have some promise, you pack them up and send them to live at the big academy in Qatar where they can develop into major players, get peddled to major clubs and, if they're really good, play for the Qatari national team.
For a guy like Sepp Blatter, who is constantly moaning about BRAZILIAN PLAYERS EMIGRATING TO VARIOUS NATIONAL TEAMS and how it will destroy the integrity of the game, this has got to be a tough pill to swallow, but if he wants to get reelected in 2011, which he clearly does, then he needs bin Hammann a lot more than he needs a bunch of hooey about integrity.
Anyway, Sepp has other problems at the moment, and since they involve enormous sums of money he's a little preoccupied with the stuff that matters.
It seems that one of the six "big fish" World Cup sponsors (along with Budweiser, McDonalds, etc.), the ones who kick in umpteen bazillion dollars - directly to FIFA, not to the people in South Africa who would spend it on, you know, stadiums and stuff - is an Indian IT outfit called Satyam.
Satyam paid huge piles of lovely money to FIFA in return for global IT rights for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the two FIFA Confederations Cups falling between 2007 and 2014. We're talking major, major dollars here.
Well, as luck would have it, Satyam has been - what's the word here...oh yes, "lying" - about their financials for some time now.
To sum it up, people are now referring to Satyam as INDIA'S ENRON. The company's value has plunged to nothing, the President has resigned and will probably end up in prison, thousands and thousands of people have lost and/or will lose their jobs and, all-in-all, it's the biggest financial scandal of the new millennium.
Which leaves FIFA with a problem since, as P/T. Barnum, a close philosophical cousin of Sepp Blatter's, used to tell his people: "Never give them their money back".
But even Sepp, as shameless as he is, may very well find it embarrassing to be sitting around in tubs of Satyam money while thousands of people in India have lost their jobs and their life savings.
As of today, FIFA is saying that they "may have to examine the situation"
But nobody is holding their breath waiting to see if Sepp sends a refund check.