UPDATE: Caribbean Football Union member Surinam has come forward and admitted to investigators that they received $40,000 in cash during the Port-of-Spain meeting.
Also, earlier today FIFA announced that the provisional ban placed on Lisle "Moonbat" Austin by CONCACAF for all football related activities has been extended to include the entire world.
Meanwhile, Austin claims he is still President of CONCACAF. Statement below
Due to frivolous complaints about having to travel to Miami, the investigators for FIFAs' Ethics Investigation have agreed to set up a meeting place for interviewing CFU officials at an as-yet undetermined location in the Caribbean.
The CFU suggested - here's a surprise - Trinidad or Barbados, the former being the island where Jack Warner controls the government and the latter is of course the home of semi-deranged CONCACAF Ex-President (hey, a few hours counts, right?) Lisle Austin.
FIFA says neither site is acceptable and will name another location in the coming days. I hear the Bahamas are nice this time of year.
Additionally, the roughly 18 Caribbean federations who have so far refused to cooperate with the investigation are still demanding "an independent and unbiased" (read: "non-American") interviewer, it seems unlikely that FIFA will bend any further.
It's not known if their suggested alternative to former FBI Director Louis Freeh is Daryan Warner, but no one would be surprised if it were.
However all that plays out, suspended CONCACAF President Jack Warner (God I love writing that phrase) says:
'I have not received any summons asking me to speak with them [the investigators] nor do I plan to do so.''
Of course, given Jacks' singularly peculiar declaratory style it's impossible to say whether he means "I don't plan on meeting with the investigators" or "I don't plan on receiving a summons to meet with investigators", but given that the latter would be an indication that he's completely delusional we'll have to assume that he will defy any request for testimony.
Unfortunately, Section 14 of the FIFA Ethics Rules states:
2. The persons implicated shall, upon request, report to the body responsible and, in particular, declare details of their income and provide the evidence requested for inspection.
Failure to comply will get you tossed out on your ear all by itself. And if that's his plan I'm certainly good with that.
And playing Warner Stooge of the Day today, here's the Barbados FA's Ronald Jones:
Ron and Jack in Happier Times
''None of our delegates were offered any inducements or gifts to support any of the candidates during the meeting on May 10."
Now technically he's correct here; the delegates were handed cash-filled envelopes on May 10 and told that the money was a gift from the CFU.
It wasn't until the next day that Warner appeared before them and announced that it was from his friend and theirs, Mo Bin Hammam.
In any case, he doesn't say "We didn't get a cash gift", only that he didn't get one in payment for his vote.
But I truly hope that he's not thinking that his clever use of the language will baffle Director Freeh.
''The Barbados Football Association was made aware that the trip and accommodation were sponsored by Mohamed Bin Hamman under the auspices of the CFU. The BFA did not and does not see this as akin to bribery or any inducements as in the past trips by Caribbean delegates to meetings have been sponsored by the organisation and agency that wanted to put on the programme.''
Well, Ron, we're all glad that you don't see this as akin to bribery, but to be perfectly blunt here, nobody is really asking your opinion.
With regard to Warners' big Tsunami that turned out to be a puddle of spit, you have I'm sure heard by now that Jack claims his lawyers told him not to produce the incriminating emails he purports to have received from FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
It's a cute dodge, but alas, it's a rerun of a lie he used a year ago.
Remember last year, shortly before the T&T elections, when Andrew Jennings appeared at that conference in Miami and made his presentation outing Jack Warners' crimes against football and, particularly, the money he owes to the Soca Warriors?
Warner appeared at a rally holding aloft a large brown envelope which he claimed was "shoved under his office door" the previous evening which contained "absolute proof" that T&T PM Patrick Manning was paying Andrew Jennings to smear him with lies and distortions.
Apparently he did come up with one from some campaign advisory firm in DC wherein someone suggested they look into Jennings' stuff to see if there was anything there they could use.
But it said nothing like what he ran around claiming that it said, and I suspect the same is true here; Blatter is a blunt instrument but he's not stupid and he didn't write anyone an email approving vote buying.
Jack always goes back to the tried and true though. Should have seen it coming.
A couple days back I wrote about BAHAMAS FA PRESIDENT ANTON SEALEY and how it was his personal integrity and respect for FIFA rules that launched this whole lovely kerfuffle which has provided the first real shot at ridding us all of Jack Warner that we've everhad.
Word is that the five associations which have agreed to testify about the "gifts" they received are under tremendous pressure from Warner and his cronies to knock it off and get back in line. We can only imagine what it must be like. Under normal circumstances they can be ruthless and now that they are desperate they are feeling the heat.
In the comments from the Sealey post, widely respected BigSoccer member jasonma said he sent Sealey an email, simply saying thanks and letting him know he's not alone. He even got a brief response from the man himself.
I see today that The Blogfather IS SUGGESTING that we all do the same thing.
Sealey can be reached at email@example.com
If you have a couple extra minutes, you could shoot a copy off to the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Puerto Rico and the Turks & Caicos as well.
Finally, much is being made of the fact that roughly 18 CFU associations claim they didn't receive a dime in Port-of-Spain.
(The discrepancy in numbers you may have noticed - there are 25 CFU/FIFA members - is because three associations - don't know who - didn't show at the conference. They're probably thanking their lucky stars today)
Some people are concerned that if they all stick together it becomes something of a "he said, she said" kind of a deal. Certainly that's what Warner has in mind.
But the FIFA rules is clear:
"Officials are not permitted to accept gifts and other benefits that exceed the average relative value of local cultural
customs from third parties. If in doubt, gifts shall be declined. Accepting gifts of cash in any amount or form is prohibited"
It only has to have happened once. As it is, five people say it happened to them. If the investigators, and later the full committee, believes them, the other 18 don't matter. Warner (and Bin Hammam, although I don't care) will be found guilty.
Keep the faith.
Austin’s spokesman Ryan Toohey said he knew nothing of FIFA’s latest decision:
“Mr Austin has not been notified of any action by FIFA regarding any suspension. There is no existing suspension so there is nothing to extend”
“Lisle Austin remains acting president of CONCACAF and has urged FIFA to intervene and resolve these so-called leadership questions.”
Delusion or Denial?
You be the judge.