"Warner Voted for Qatar"

As appealing as the prospect of surrounding yourself with a band of bought-and-paid-for, slobberingly loyal sycophants willing to say or do anything for you might be, there's at least one serious downside.

No, I don't mean that you could end up taking your talents to South Beach and becoming the most ridiculed and disliked man in American sports. Although that might be another one.

In this case I'm referring to the fact that if something untoward happens and you're not able to be around for a while, one or another of your minions might feel the urge to try and help you out with your problems.

Which brings us to Alleged Human Being Patrick John:

John, you may recall, is a former Colonel in the Dominica Defense Force who was the first Prime Minister of that

country after it gained it's independence, all of which is impressive enough sounding except that Dominica has roughly the same population as Appleton, Wisconsin.

Which didn't stop him from being seriously angry when election time rolled around and he was tossed out of office for behaving, according to a CIA situation report, like a "tyrant".

Whereupon, as I've mentioned previously but I don't mind in the least repeating, John entered into a conspiracy with a bunch of KKK and White Power clowns in the US who, financed by the New Orleans mafia, planned an armed coup to put John back in power in return for giving them the right to run casinos, whorehouses, shady banks with which to launder Mob money and, oh yes, set up a drug processing and transhipment center serving the East Coast of the US.

John was fine with all of that, and also didn't see the problem with turning a brigade of heavily armed Nazis loose to kill as many black Dominica residents as might be necessary to put him back in office.

The saving grace in all of this was that these guys, as you might expect, weren't exactly the sharpest tacks in the box and they ended up chartering the boats for their invasion force from an undercover FBI agent.

(There's a great book, Bayou of Pigs which goes into much greater detail and is a good primer on why we really don't have much to fear from dim bulbs like them.)

Anyway, long story short, John was sentenced to 12 years in prison although he was pardoned in 1990 and a couple years later got himself elected President of the DFA (he's a former professional player) but, after a few years of open theft, corruption and incompetence, in 2008 he was voted out in favor of a guy named Dexter Francis.

Jack Warner was furious. He flew to Dominica and announced that he had a "mandate from FIFA" to disband the DFA and replace it with an "interim board" of his own choosing. Problem was, it simply wasn't true, which Francis found out when he contacted Jerome Valcke in Zurich.

FIFA sent a couple guys from the Associations Committee who spent four days there looking into the situation, whereupon they recommended to FIFA that Francis and his board be reinstated immediately, which they were.

Of course, this didn't stop Warner, who used his money and influence to threaten and then bribe the clubs who hold the DFA voting authority to back John. Francis eventually gave in and John got the job back, which he holds to this day.

All of which is a long, albeit immensely entertaining, way of making the point that Patrick John and Jack Warner are very, very close. The media uses terms like "allies" although "partners in crime" seems much more apt.

So when this whole Port-of-Spain Bribe O'Rama thing came long it was pretty clear which side Patrick John was going to line up on.

He claimed that while other federations "may have gotten money" at the meeting, he knew nothing about it and did not get a dime, the reason being that he had already declared his staunch support for Sepp Blatter and Bin Hammam knew better than to waste his time trying to get him to change his mind.

Not that anyone believes it for a minute, but that's his story and he's sticking to it.

Which brings us to yesterday when, in an obvious attempt to try and help his pal Jack out of a jam, he spilled some serious beans.

He told local radio in Dominica that the whole FIFA Ethics thing is a put-up job, a conspiracy being engineered by the US and England because Warner voted for Qatar and Russia despite his promises to the contrary:

"The whole thing is a conspiracy against Jack Warner. Jack promised the United States to push for the World Cup but when the thing came along at Fifa level Jack supported Qatar. That hurt the United States"

And:

"Jack promised the English FA to push for the World Cup for them, but Jack sided with Russia so these two federations are up in arms against Jack. They are the only federations making trouble."

John clearly meant for the take-away point to be "The arrogant, selfish British and Americans are simply angry because they didn't get what they wanted and they're punishing poor Jack Warner for not being on their side".

Unfortunately for him, the headline around the world quickly became: "JACK WARNER VOTED FOR QATAR".

It was such a colossal boner that Warner - who had been as silent as death lately - immediately sent out an email denying it.

"If Mr John did say so then that is nonsense but I imagine that one day all of this foolishness will come to an end."

Now it is absolutely true that Patrick John was not at the ExCo meeting and cannot say for certain who Warner voted for.

At the same time, John seems pretty sure of his facts here, leading one to believe that Warner told him how he voted and given how close they are it doesn't seem the least bit unlikely. Indeed, knowing how much John hates the US - who, after all, sent him to prison - it's easy to envision Warner bragging to his old crony about sticking it to Sunil and Chuck.

I suppose nobody should be surprised about it; Qatar was passing out money and, well, Warner is all about the money.

Yet, somehow, it still comes as a surprise. Even knowing the kind of unscrupulous old bastard Warner is, most people still believed him when he swore he voted for the US. How could the President of CONCACAF vote otherwise? It seemed impossible.

He apparently fooled us again, but that's not the outrageous part.

What's truly mindboggling is that I honestly believe he was screwing Bin Hammam over too. I don't think that he had any intention of having the CFU boys vote for anyone but Sepp, and in any case they were always going to vote for whomever Jack told them to. He was just letting MBH pass out some cash.

The interesting thing at this point would be somehow working out a deal with Jack to come clean about the whole thing. It would bring down the Qatar fiasco, Bin Hammam and Sepp Blatter all in one fell swoop.

Maybe Gulati can arrange a nice going away present. I hear $100 bills work well.