At 10 o'clock this morning, CONCACAF will convene their annual congress at the luxurious, dare we say palatial, JW Marriott in Miami, Florida.
The first order of business, after of course fetching up the 35 delegates from their humble and modest suites where the term "Honor Bar" is a punchline...
...will be to unanimously re-elect Jack Warner of Trinidad & Tobago to his sixth four year term as President.
I'm sure many of you shared my mild amusement a few weeks ago when various media outlets around the Soccersphere ran large-point bulletins announcing the news that Warner would definitely be re-elected because no one else had filed for the office.
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Because of course as long as CONCACAF looks mainly like this:
Jack will continue to be re-elected and everybody knows it. If they know what's good for them.
Just last Summer Antigua and Barbuda tried to put up an unauthorized candidate for one of CONCACAFs' FIFA ExCo seats and Warner was beside himself, telling everyone that the federation always does everything unanimously and any attempt to cause "division" would be dealt with severely. He then summoned their Presidents to his office so that they could "explain why they should not be sanctioned and expelled" from the confederation.
And this is after, mind you, the nomination had been withdrawn because the candidate got scared off. Jack don't mess around.
So after a couple of speeches describing Jack Warner as the greatest footballing man of his generation, Chuck Blazer will call for a vote and the least suspenseful election since the last time Fidel Castro ran for Presidente of Cuba will be history and Warner will continue to do whatever the hell he wants until at least 2015.
And since he is only 68, a relative spring chicken as these things go, The Pirate of the Caribbean will likely be around stuffing his pockets for many years after that. Welcome to democracy.
After the applause dies down, the next order of business will be a presentation by Jacks' oldest and bestest buddy, Sepp Blatter, which will be followed by another unanimous vote endorsing him for re-election as President of FIFA.
His competition for the office, Qatari businessman Mohammad Bin Hammam, won't be making an appearance.
While Bin Hammam himself isn't saying why, beyond a somewhat cryptic "circumstances beyond my control" comment on his personal blog, it's been pretty well established that the US State Department has refused to grant him visa.
It's not at all clear why this is so. Perhaps it's because he's from the Middle East and those applications get a good deal more scrutiny, although in situations like this where prominent international figures are involved that's usually not an issue.
Or maybe Sepp Blatter has some influence in Foggy Bottom.
Whatever the reason, Blatter will have the floor to himself. In reality however, it seems that it really wasn't going to matter anyway. Warner has made his call.
The reason is simple: Blatter is going to win.
He just completed a triumphal appearance at the CONMEBOL Congress where all 10 members vowed to vote for the Swiss grandee, and he arrived in Miami with his entire "re-election team" in tow, including the man who has suddenly emerged as his key manager, UEFA President Michael Platini.
It's clear that they've struck a deal and Platini will be sliding into the seat in four years with Blatters' full - and highly influential - support.
Of course, Bin Hammam offered him the same deal but maybe Platini decided he didn't trust him to keep his word. After all, the Qatari is only 61 and whatever he says now come 2015 it's entirely possible, even likely, that he'll decide he's not really ready to go tend his roses and play with his grandchildren full time.
Of course Platini doesn't have the kind of dictatorial command of UEFAs' whopping 53 votes that a guy like Warner has, but his influence is substantial and most of his members both like and trust him and as a strong proponent of the interests of the big clubs and Europe in general as the source of most of FIFAs' wealth, they would like very much to see him running FIFA, a prospect which is much more likely if they vote for Blatter now.
It still leaves open the question of why Warner is throwing in with Seppy, but there are lots of possibilities.
One is that he knows that Blatter will continue to pander to his gross kleptomania. For example, for the last 3 World Cups, Warner has been personally granted all TV rights for the entire Caribbean for one dollar.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Warner makes a killing and under Blatter he undoubtedly will again. Under Bin Hammam? Who knows?
More intriguingly, FIFA has taken a sudden, one would almost say "shocking", interest in Warners' ticket kiting scheme in South Africa last Summer, and someone has opened an Ethics Committee investigation of same. No one will say who.
Did Blatter initiate and/or allow the investigation in order to have an ace up his sleeve come election time? Have they cut a deal whereby the whole thing goes away in return for his support?
However all that may be, the handwriting was on the wall two weeks ago when Blatter toured Central America and Costa Rica, Guatemala and, well, everybody else. PLEDGED HIM THEIR SUPPORT.
And since we all know that CONCACAF does everything unanimously, and that the seven CA feds would not have done this unless Jack Warner approved, it was clear:
Bin Hammam could have saved all those long distance calls trying to get through to Hillary Clinton: that visa was just never going to matter.
UPDATE: Jack Warner just announced that "it would not be fair" to Bin Hammam to vote without being able to hear him speak so he's postponing the vote and will convene a special meeting in T&T on May 10 so the delegates can meet him.
Seeing as how Warner basically IS the T&T government, I suspect there'll be no visa problems.
So if you were sitting around today waiting for the news from Miami, you can skip it and go play golf; the fix is in, the race is over and when the smoke clears nothing at all will have changed.
Have a lovely day.