Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends....
In their haste to "break" the contents of the "leaked" FIFA Ethics Committee findings yesterday, Bloomberg and the Press Association were either a) sloppy, lazy and/or unprofessional, or b) gullible dupes who missed the real story.
Unfortunately, "c) did a sound, thorough, professional job" is not among the possible choices.
Remember where you read it first - sorry, I just love saying that, and anyway, I strongly suspect that you aren't going to see much of anyone else tell you this today - but what those two normally very trustworthy organizations got their hands on was a copy of the pre-election preliminary findings which the Damaseb/Valcke media briefing on May 30 was all about and which the committee used as the basis for launching the full scale investigation featuring Louis Freeh and his Merry Men.
Here's how Uncle Jack describes it:
"...The purported FIFA Ethics Committee report which is being scurrilously circulated is merely a summary of the considerations on which the FIFA Ethics Committee decided on provisional suspensions and its call for a full hearing involving the subjects of the allegations on bid rigging.(Ed: "Bid rigging? Is this a Freudian slip?)
"It is instructive to note that the investigation into these allegations is still ongoing and therefore any suggestion that the report being circulated is the final conclusion of the FIFA Ethics Committee is both misleading and false."
In the process of racing to promote their big "scoop" (which was, in fact, not much more than an interesting footnote) they managed to avoid the bigger question, which is:
Where did it come from?
In a published statement which drips with phony moral outrage but which nonetheless seems to make a valid point, Jack Warner said last night that the document addressed to him which those two ought-to-be-red-faced news establishments were surreptitiously handed had only four copies:
One was supposedly faxed directly to Warner, although he says he never saw it.
One was shipped to him overnight by DHL.
One was sent to Warners' attorney.
One was sent to the CONCACAF office in New York.
Guess which one Jack thinks ended up getting slipped to the media?
Presumably of course, there was also a copy retained someplace in the Ethics Committee files but that's a pretty tight ship Damaseb is running there and they would seem to be an unlikely source for this kind of thing.
Of course, Jack has a vested interest in convincing everyone that he's the victim in al of this. We all know the tune: Brave Sir Jack has stood up for the Caribbean for all these years, fighting a lonely battle against the forces of...well, someone or other. Americans. Europeans. White people. Big countries. International Freemasonry. Whatever.
So of course this preliminary report ending up in the hands of the media fits nicely into the scenario, and if you still don't get it, he's only too happy to spell it out:
"I can only therefore conclude that this development is part of an ongoing malicious agenda to destroy the cohesion which has made the Caribbean Football Union a factor to be reckoned with in FIFA affairs; and thus diminish CFU's significance in various areas of FIFA decision making."
See, it's not an attack on Jack, it's an attack on the Caribbean, presumably by people who hate beaches, rum drinks and good weed.
And he wasn't done:
"It is now evident that there are those in a section of the FIFA fraternity who are not only pathologically mendacious, but in the face of FIFA's stated position and its voluntary recognition of my contribution to world football and by definition to FIFA, will stop at no length to destroy my legacy and destabilize the Caribbean region whose interests I have always vigorously advocated."
Pathologically mendacious? Destabilize the Caribbean? Destroy his legacy?
No need to worry though; these mendacious pathologues aren't going to get away with this infamy, no siree:
"Despite the attacks of division neither the Caribbean nor I will allow all that we stand for to be destroyed."
Sound the bugles! Raise the banners! Chet Greenes' right to have his girlfriend du jour pretend that she's the delegate from Haiti will live on!
"I expect that these vicious attacks will continue but I will confront them head on every time they arise.""
Good thing; I was afraid I might run out of material.
He saves the best for last:
"Let me once again reiterate for the sake of those with hidden agendas; I, Jack Warner did not partake in the distribution of any cash gifts to my members."
Of course you didn't, Jack. You resigned from FIFA and CONCACAF and the CFU because of your heartfelt desire to "spare" them from "distractions" and "controversy" You forgot to add something about spending more time with your family. Then again, I've seen your family.
The most interesting thing about all of this?
Jacks' entire screed, in all it's glorious moral outrage, is posted ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE CARIBBEAN FOOTBALL UNION WEBSITE, a kind of odd place to find a communication from a guy who has promised to stay out of football affairs.
And the beat goes on.