I'm so happy to have Lisle Austin involved in this whole CONCACAF controversy.
He's the gift that keeps on giving, a baggy pants comedian who comes on stage between the serious acts to remind us that's it's all just theater.
The fact that in his case it's Theater of the Absurd is beside the point. There is quite literally no chance whatsoever that he will ever be President of CONCACAF, a fact which he seems determined to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt.
From the very first hours of his (brief) "Presidency" every single thing Austin has said or done has been ill-advised, creepy or just plain dumb. And it keeps getting worse.
A timeline of the last week makes the case:
On Monday He announced that he was still head of CONCACAF, reasoning that: "any actions taken or decisions reached (by the Executive Committee) are not only unenforceable but are ultra vires".
On Tuesday he sent a fervent personal plea to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, asking him to lift the suspension which CONCACAF's Executive Committee placed on him so that he can continue his fight for "transparency and reform" (His new favorite words).
On Wednesday FIFA announced that they were officially extending Austins' CONCACAF suspension to include the entire world.
On Thursday he issued a statement saying that since the original suspension was not legal, it could not, therefore, be "extended".
(Atta boy, Lisle; play word games with the Ethics Committee. That'll show 'em.)
He then went on to again ask Blatter to personally intervene, asking for "guidance from FIFA" and adding that "further uncertainty will only serve to frustrate the goals of transparency and reform".
On Friday he outdid himself, and committed football suicide in the process:
Since CONCACAF is organized under Bahamian law Austin took his problems to some court or other there and got "an injunction" (he says - nobody has actually seen it) ordering that CONCACAF be restrained from preventing Austin from taking office.
Austin was triumphant and issued a media statement that is simultaneously delusional and hilarious:
"My efforts to lead the Federation into a new era begin again today.
"The rogue faction attacking CONCACAF from within cannot interfere with our love of this sport and our pursuit of reform and transparency."
(Austin uses the words "reform and transparency" like a mantra, utterly meaningless, completely out of context and totally irrelevant but he heard somewhere that that's the stuff everybody wants now, so he drops them into every other sentence:
"Dear, for the sake of reform and transparency, would you pass the green beans?" "Bartender, get me another gin and tonic, for the sake of transparency and reform". "Excuse me, for the sake of reform and transparency I need to go take a dump ")
On Saturday FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke sent a letter to acting CONCACAF President Alfredo Hawitt which was copied to every single CONCACAF and CFU member federation as well as the entire CONCACAF Executive Committee, saying:
“After a thorough analysis of the file in our possession, the bureau of the FIFA Legal Committee deems that the relevant steps and decisions taken within CONCACAF appear to be in line with the statutory provisions of CONCACAF.”
He then underlined the rule - known by everyone in soccer except, apparently, Lisle Austin - that both FIFA and CONCACAF rules expressly prohibit asking “ordinary courts” to resolve footballing issues before concluding:
“It is important that you (Hawitt) as acting president, but also the CONCACAF executive committee and all relevant CONCACAF bodies, now focus on bringing back unity to CONCACAF.”
If Austin can find something in there that isn't completely clear, I can't imagine what is would be.
What's truly mystifying is what Austin hoped to gain here. All the "injunctions" from all the judges in the Hemisphere can't change the CONCACAF Regulations, which are quite plain:
CONCACAF's bodies are Legislative, Executive and Administrative.
- The Congress is the Legislative body.
- The Executive Committee and the Emergency Committee are the Executive Bodies
- The General Secretariat is the Administrative Body.
Or, if he'd like to skip down to Article 28 he can read:
The functions of the Executive Committee are:
b. To administer CONCACAF
c. To appoint the General Secretary
The fact that Jack Warner was able to use the Presidency to run roughshod over CONCACAF is irrelevant. He's not Jack Warner.
As far as the rules are concerned, even if everyone agreed that he is the Big Boss Man now, the Executive Committee and Chuck Blazer still run CONCACAF.
It's simply beyond debate. But it's sure fun watching Lisle Austin try.
Reportedly though, he's now having to find some new PR guys; up until this week he'd been more or less openly using Jack Warners' media people, but suddenly they're nowhere to be seen.
Earth to Lisle: go home. It's over.
Of course there's really only one big prize here if Jack Warner is going down - something about which there is increasingly little doubt - and that's the Caribbean Football Unions' seat on FIFAs' Executive Committee.
It's quite simply the coolest job in the world. Great salary, literally unlimited perks, benefits and expenses, which are granted not for your term of office but for your lifetime.
You live the lifestyle of the rich and famous, and that leaves aside all the lovely bribes, gifts and graft.
In the current situation, it appears that two men are (or were) in the running for it.
One of them is (was) Austin and the other is longtime Warner Lick-spittle "Captain" Horace Burrell of Jamaica. (Who, by the way, you can add to the list of "Bribes? I didn't see any bribes" club.) who is now acting President of the CFU.
He's the guy behind the demand that FIFA move the investigation to a location outside the US, which as noted previously they have agreed to do.
(The dark horse is despicable lowlife Chet Greene of Antigua, a CONCACAF ExCo member who once claimed that he couldn't produce documentation for a $100,000 expense claim because "burglars" broke into his house and stole the receipts. Nothing else, just the receipts. He was paid in full.)
FIFA apparently READ MY PIECE OF LAST WEEK:
"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 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."
Of course I only suggested the Bahamas because it's the home of whistleblower Anton Sealey, but you have to believe that FIFA selecting it is a clear message about which way the wind is blowing.
So Captain Burrell - wisely you would think - has announced that the CFU will appear before the investigators as requested.
Because, you see, Burrell, while a slimeball, is not nearly as thick headed as Lisle Austin. He understands that when the smoke clears, if he can just keep himself out of the Ethics Committee's gun sights, he can end up sitting at that big table in Zurich next to all the other greedy thugs.
How Austin thought all of his obnoxious pronouncements and ridiculous shenanigans were going to accomplish that end is a complete mystery.