FIFA to Lisle Austin: Shut the Hell Up You Moron

Well OK, so they didn't put it that way exactly. Close though.

Yesterday, the FIFA disciplinary committee ruled that, due to his repeated violation of the statutes prohibiting taking footballing disputes to "ordinary courts", erstwhile CONCACAF President-for-a-day Lisle Austin has been banned from participation in any activities related to soccer anywhere on Earth.

If this sounds oddly familiar, it should: he's already under bans from both CONCACAF and FIFA for a laundry list of misdeeds including violations of CONCACAF and FIFA Statutes, Regulations and Decisions, running afoul of the FIFA Code of Ethics, and Breach of Fiduciary Duty to CONCACAF.

Unfortunately, this most recent ban isn't likely to have any more effect on Crazy Lisle than the other ones, which he says aren't relevant because a) his dispute is between him and CONCACAF, so FIFA is not involved b) CONCACAF has no choice but to obey court orders from the country (the Bahamas) in which it is incorporated and c) the whole thing is a conspiracy contrived by America. And possibly aliens.

His latest foray into the court system where, as noted, footballs' rules say he may not go, was last week when, perhaps ironically, CONCACAF went before Bahamian Justice Stephen Issacs and asked that he vacate the injunction he issued orderingt CONCACAF to stop "interfering with Lisle Austin in the discharge of his duties as acting president”.

To this end, the confederation egaged a heavyweight Jamaican attorney named Thomas Evans, who showed the court a letter from FIFA informing Austin that the decision to ban him “is an independent action by FIFA and cannot be dismissed by CONCACAF or through any action against CONCACAF in the ordinary courts.”

Therefore, Evans argued, the injunction from Justice Stephen "Bribe Taking Fool" Isaacs should be vacated since it was issued against CONCACAF, not FIFA.

Isaacs wasn't having any, saying:

“It appears to me that the position of CONCACAF is that they are not able to comply with the injunction. The reason they say is the position that FIFA has taken relative to the plaintiff. I must conclude that CONCACAF has made it clear that it will continue to defy the court’s authority, and it matters not whether the issue is the terms of the injunction or a decision on the substantive application.”

In other words, "you're ignoring me either way so I'm not letting you off the hook". Feel free to correct me here.

This was the decision which Austin was crowing about a few days ago, claiming he was headed for New York to take his lawful place. Like most of what Austin says, he basically misrepresented - that's not to say "lied" - about what it really said and what it meant.

The fact that Isaacs refused to toss out the injunction doesn't move him any closer to the CONCACAF corner office than he was before.

Be that as it may, even Austin has to recognize that if he assumed control of CONCACAF that FIFA would then, in all likelihood, have to then ban CONCACAF itself for installing a President who is under a FIFA ban. At it's most basic, the confederation couldn't even hold qualifying matches, since no FIFA referee would be allowed to work it, no national federation would risk staging it and no player who likes having a FIFA player pass would even consider playing in it.

And someone should tell our freinds in the Caribbean who are rooting so hard for Austin that having CONCACAF declared an renegade confederation would mean a cutoff of all that lovely FIFA money. Even the stacks of greenbacks in brown paper envelopes.

Speaking of shameless bribery, our man Mohammad Bin Hammam is really feeling the heat these days.

An Ethics Committee source has leaked some of the details that will be presented at their meeting on July 22 and, well, the guy is toast.

As of today, nine countries are saying that they were handed $40,000 of MBH's cash at the meeting in Port-of-Spain.

In addition to the four countries which the committee heard from on May 30 - the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and the Turks & Caicos - the other five are Puerto Rico, Surinam, Grenada, Aruba and Curacao.

The only surprise is Grenada; the others have already made public statements to that effect.

A tenth attendee - Carlos Prowell, vice-president of the Guyana fed - told investigators that he saw other delegates with brown envelopes and was told they contained cash, at which point "we took a collective decision not to receive the gifts.”

Interestingly, the committee now says that there were actually 24 federations in attendance on May 10; only Cuba did not send a representative.

Additionally, Director Freehs' investigators have handed over to Judge Torres and the other committee members sworn statements from several attendees alleging that they heard Warner explicitly explain that the money was from Bin Hammam and that it was linked to the Qatari’s presidential election campaign.

Conversely, a "significant number" of the other CFU federations - believed to number about 12 - have simply refused to meet with the investigators at all, either by outright refusing to meet with them or by making the appointments and then not showing up.

They, like Lisle Austin, are only fooling themselves if they think they can somehow skate on this. The Ethics Committee ahs already stated that they can and will "draw a negative inference" from a refusal to cooperate, and FIFA is in no mood - not to mention no position - to screw around here.

The committee will in all probability rule non-cooperation as an admission of guilt and ban every one of them for life. They can consider that $40k as a severance package.

The only troubling aspect of this - and the part that BinMo must surely be clinging to - is that aside from the attendee statements alleging that Warner told them it was the Qataris' money, there's really no other direct evidence that it came from him.

Warner will apparently testify on July 22, and at this point he's really got very little reason to finger MBH, so unless the USSF has worked out a witness protection plan for Jason Sylvester and Debbie Minguell the committee is going to have to draw their own conclusions.

For his part, Bin hammam posted a response on his personal blog today MAKING THAT VERY POINT and again claiming that the whole thing is a conspiracy against him based on "bias".

He says he hopes the "decision will be ... based solely on the facts presented and not based on assumptions or the wishes of people outside the committee."

We'll see.

Meanwhile in other news to piss you off, FIFA now says - thanks to dWreck for putting down the cheap beer and drooling over his Photoshopped picture of Hope Solo in a string bikini long enough to send along the link - FIFA is
apparently prepared to PLAY 30 MINUTE SEGMENTS rather than 45 minute halves, if it turns out that Qatar is, like, a really hot place.

That apparently makes sense to someone. I'd go ahead and be outraged if the whole thing wasn't already such a contemptible joke.

I have another suggestion of a really hot place the guys who voted for this ought to be sent.