Soy un Perdador...
...I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me?
(Offer not valid in Canada)
Hey, if Gwyneth Paltrow can channel Cee Lo Green, then surely I can be allowed to do Beck, right?
Workers decorating the park outside FIFA headquarters in Zurich earlier today. Photo not from Andy Mead. He wishes.
Contrary to reports from sources which I can not in good conscience refer to as "reliable" for obvious reasons, FIFA's Ethics Committee has handed down suspensions to six officials totalling 60 years and £35,000.
Nigeria's Amos Adamu was suspended from all soccer activity for three years for agreeing to take bribes, while Reynald Temarii of Tahiti, the president of Oceania's confederation, was suspended for one year for breaching FIFA's loyalty and confidentiality rules.
Temarii's attorney wanted reporters to note that his client was cleared of the bribery charge. Adamu maintains his innocence and will pursue an appeal.
However that may turn out, neither of them will be voting for the 2018 World Cup winner in 13 days, meaning that there are now only 22 voters instead of 24.
What this may mean as a practical matter is anyones' guess at the moment. Certainly it means that the three votes CONCACAF President Jack Warner controls carry even more weight, although the difference isn't huge: previously the winner was going to need 13 votes while now, obviously, they'll only need 12.
(Of course Sepp Blatter breaks any ties)
The committee also ruled that there was not "sufficient grounds" to rule that Qatar and SPain had illegally colluded or conspired to get each others' votes. The officials involved were asked to give written statements but no testimony was required of them.
Adamu now has even bigger problems at home, where the Nigerian governemnt has expressed "shock" at the accusations and previously promised to pursue criminal charges if FIFA found him guilty. Additionally, his seat is up for re-election in late February at the CAF assembly.
Oceania was scheduled to hold a Presidential election in January but have now reportedly decided to postpone same.
As far as voting was concerned, Temarii was under a mandate from Oceania to vote for Australia in 2022, and eliminating his ballot is obviously good news for the likes of the US and Qatar.
Amdamus' sentiments were not known, possibly because he hadn't received final bids for it yet.
Of more concern to England is that this incident, having been precipitated by a UK newspaper investigation (read: sting), may very well cause a backlash against their bid which, in turn, could hand the finals to Russia on a silver platter. At this point, even one or two voters backing off could shoot them down.
Conversely, as I've noted before - and this is purely conjecture on my part - it's hard to envision them giving the WC to two white, English speaking countries in a row. Maybe that's just paranoia, but my tea leaves are at least as good as those of the WSJ reporter who wrote that story yesterday.
If it's true, then you have to bet that this entire incident doesn't help the US bid, or at least doesn't hurt it as much as it might hurt England and Australia.
This is just getting good.