Life is full of surprises.
Take people, for example: just when you think you know a guy, a side of him comes to light that you never would have suspected. Take CONCACAF Satrap Jack Warner, for example.
Separated at birth?
With all the things we know about the man, who would have guessed that he's secretly a Princess Bride fan?
How else to explain his sudden channeling of Wallace Shawn yesterday; when reporters asked him about the potential for the World Cup this year to actually turn a profit. His response:
I'm not sure that his BFF Sepp Blatter will appreciate being tossed under the bus like this, but he should have known better than to go up against a Sicilian when DEATH! was on the line.
As long as we're talking about Uncle Jack, maybe this is a good time to meet, as Peter Townsend would say, The New Boss:
These gentlemen, riding in style on the way to take in the Chelsea/Liverpool tilt, are Daryan (laft) and Darryl Warner, the fruit of Jack's loins and his designated successors as King of the Caribbean.
Daryan runs the family ticket scams. In Germany in 2006 his naked peddling of 5,000 World Cup tickets (tickets he of course ordered using his fathers' name) earned him a FIFA investigation and subsequent US$1 million fine, the sting of which was relieved somewhat by the fact that he never paid it.
Jack avoided the investigation by cleverly resigning as President of Simpaul, the family "Travel Agency" just before the games.
FIFA's independent investigators took note of the fact that merely taking your name off the letterhead doesn't really distance you from a company whose board consists of your two sons, your wife and your lawyer, but the only result was a letter "forgiving" Warner for "making mistakes"
Like, for example, pocketing US$10 million.
Anyway, if you want tickets for anything - Euro 2012, for example - just stop by Daryans' dive shop in Port of Spain; there's always a stack of them right next to the cash register.
Daryll's involvement in the family business is a bit more subtle, but has proven to be even more lucrative:
Back in 2006, when Warner promised to split the revenues from the World Cup 50/50 with the T&T players, it was a company Daryll owned that, somehow, ended up depositing the check from FIFA. No one is exactly sure how this happened. All anyone knows is that the money has vanished without a trace and the players have still not been paid.
In an interesting twist, after the players got an International Sports Arbitration ruling against the T&TFF, ordering them to turn over £17 million to the players, Warner has now gone to the T&T Parliament asking them to change the federations' name to T&TFA.
Get it? There's a judgment against the T&TFF, but not against the T&TFA. Jack simply isn't giving up that money.
This is of course a big week for our man Jack and the boys. The Caribbean Football Union is beginning their annual Congress today in Trinidad, and the gang - I use the term advisedly - will all be there.
The CFU is, of course, the real source of Warner's power. Altogether, the CFU has 25 FIFA/federation members, with another 5 (Guadelupe, Martinique, St. Martin, French Guiana and Sint Maartan) who vote in the CFU and CONCACAF but not FIFA.
The US, Mexico, Canada, Honduras, El Salvador and the rest of the non-Caribbean CONCACAF members are irrelevant as long as Warner holds those 30 votes.
And in a lovely bit of serendipity, the former Netherlands Antilles is scheduled to be dissolved as of October of 2010.
At that point, four more Caribbean "nations" - Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius (all Netherlands posessions) and (for good measure) Saint-Barthélemy (France) will all suddenly find themselves with $400,000 FIFA Development grants, shiny new Football Associations and full CONCACAF voting rights.
And unless we can come up with a few more non-CFU feds - Quebec, maybe, or possibly Alabama - the votes of actual countries with actual football programs will become even more irrelevant to CONCACAF.
So the party is in Port of Spain this weekend, with the Warner boys and even Chuck Blazer, who has nothing to do with the CFU but who, they have announced, will be a "special guest".
And speaking of the gang, does anyone recall alleged human being Patrick John?
John was the President of Dominica back in the '80's, but when the populace (which is 98% of African descent, as is John himself) found out that he had worked out deals to tranship oil to the apartheid regime in South Africa in violation of the UN embargo for a huge personal profit they voted him out of office.
John then worked out a deal with - no, I am not making this up - the mafia in New Orleans, for an enforcer named "Chuckles" Yanover to provide the money and guns for a coup in return for exclusive rights to run casinos and brothels on the island.
They then recruited a few dozen Ku Klux Klan members who, complete with Nazi flags and submachine guns, were arrested at the Port of New Orleans as they were boarding the boats to set sail for Dominica.
A US Court sentenced John to 12 years in Federal prison for conspiracy.
So when he got out a couple of years ago, naturally Jack Warner thought he would make a perfect President for the Dominica FA.
I mean sure, why not?
However, after he stole around a million bucks - which has yet to be accounted for - the DFA tossed him out and elected someone else.
Warner flew into a rage. Then he flew into Dominica, dissolved the DFA board and appointed Patrick John as President. The ousted (ie. elected) leadership appealed to FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke, who decided that what was needed was a full FIFA investigation.
The man he assigned to conduct the investigation? Well Jack Warner, of course.
I swear to God, I am not making this up.
And sadly, I was not surprised - and you won't be either - when I looked at the list of attendees and I saw WHO IS THERE FOR DOMINICA
Have a nice day.