In the wake of FIFA Vice President Jack Warners' resignation and the lifetime ban issued to AFC President Mohammad Bin Hammam by the FIFA Ethics Committee decision, a goodly number of people thought they saw flickers of hope amongst the mountain of sewage that is the governing body of world football.
With Warner, a vile and utterly shameless kleptomaniac, finally gone and his new BFF BinnyHam getting the boot for blatant bribery, it was possible for a moment to dream of a day when the beautiful game would be wrestled out of the iron grip of a bunch of greedy liars and thieves addicted to high living and undeserved power.
But literally every single day since Judge Damasebs' announcement has brought another reminder that not only was this not the beginning of the end, or even the end of the beginning but, tragically, it was nothing but smoke and mirrors, a bunch of noise signifying nothing.
The bastards remain firmly in control, they fully intend to stay there and there's absolutely nothing anyone can do about it.
For evidence you need look no further than Bin Hammam, who has been nothing short of defiant, dismissive and arrogant.
And those are his good qualities.
Incredibly, in the wake of his own refusal to a) meet with the investigators (who, contrary to the current and continuing world narrative, were not agents of the US Government sent to punish FIFA over the 2022 World Cup) b) turn over bank records and other documents the committee requested and c) appear personally to state his case, the Qatari continues to claim he was nevertheless railroaded.
Not only that but since the procedure stipulates that his next step is to present his case to the FIFA Appeals Committee, he went on record last week calling that body "a kangaroo court" and implying that the entire bunch are nothing more than Sepp Blatters' lickspittles and since this whole thing is obviously retaliation for having tried to unseat the Swiss doyenne, there's no real point to even bothering.
He sees his only real hope as being the Court of Arbitration for Sport, where he feels he'll finally get a fair hearing in regard to all these false charges.
Unfortunately for all of us, this process is likely to take as much as a year, which posed a problem for the Asian Football Confederation of which BinnyHam was President until his unfortunate dismissal by Sepp Blatters' lackeys on the Ethics Committee.
That august body, now being headed by Acting President Zhang Jilong of China, started talking about how they needed to go ahead and elect someone else, whereupon the Qatari issued a heartfelt plea for his former friends and partners in crime to keep the seat open pending his appeals.
Japan, for one, wanted to call an Extraordinary Congress and elect someone else. South Korea - who've never liked the guy anyway - agreed, as did Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, the Jordanian who beat out Bin Hammam for the AFC ExCo seat last Spring, even though he himself says he's not a candidate.
But the AFC Executive Committee, in a closed-door meeting that lasted over six hours, announced that "the lawyers" have advised them that according to the rules the office has to be vacant an entire year before new elections can be called.
Impartial observers who have actually read the AFC Statutes say that what they actually say is that they can't leave the office open for more than a year, which isn't exactly the same thing but the majority of the committee agreed to pretend otherwise and so Bin Hammam will continue to be "the suspended President of the AFC" for another 12 months.
Fortunately for him, he's found a new favorite hobby to while away all that free time:
Smearing Chuck Blazer.
To this end, he's calling for an investigation of Blazers' compensation package - the one which Lisle Austin and everybody else on the CONCACAF ExCo knew about and indeed approved five years ago that Austin is now shocked - SHOCKED - to learn of, and he's added a new twist:
He says that he has evidence of a $250,000 payment from the CFU to Blazer and says "What was it for? Who knows?" but he wants FIFA to investigate it anyway.
Blazer has said that the $250,000 represented the repayment of a loan he made to - you knew this was coming, didn't you? - Jack Warner, but since there seems to be some question about the money coming from the cash-strapped CFU rather than from Warner himself, he has put the money into some sort of escrow pending clarification.
Now some of us might very well say that the REAL scandal here is the fact that the badly cash-strapped CFU spent a quarter of a million dollars paying off Jack Warners' personal debts, but they're so busy trying to nail Blazer with something - anything - that they haven't noticed.
Now the first question this raises is: exactly how is it that suspended FIFA executive Mohammad Bin Hammam ended up rooting around the CFU's records? Apparently not even Lisle Austin knew about this or we would surely have heard about it before.
So either Jack Warner or Horace Burrell are feeding him this stuff in violation of - well, I don't know where to begin, but you can be damned sure that FIFA isn't going to look into it.
(If you really think Warner has given up, check out the headline on in one of Jacks' lapdog newspapers; not one single word in the story justifies the headline, but they don't expect anyone to actually read that far. It's one of the most shameless pieces of yellow journalism you'll ever see.)
What makes Blazers' explanation entirely plausible is that this is how Warner has always operated, something which, in fairness, Blazer has known all along.
The best example is the now-infamous $20 million which Warner stole from the Soca Warriors after the 2006 World Cup.
A long, long string of court orders have finally, at long last, forced the TTFF to cough up the money.
The problem is, they don't have it. Warner stuffed it into an account controlled by one of his sons for a business that has since been closed, and the money long ago disappeared into Warners' Cayman Islands bank accounts.
But Oliver Camps, president of the TTFF, can't ask Jack for the money back and so, sadly, the Trinidad & Tobago fed has begun paying it off out of their own funds. However, since they're pretty much broke too, they're paying it off in small monthly installments.
This has led to them having to cancel national team matches which they had scheduled in preparation for CONCACAF qualifying, as longtime BS stalwart KHT_Crew points out with THIS SAD LINK which demonstrates that, far from losing out, Warner gets to keep the money.
Of course another issue with T&T is that the government, which normally contributes money to all the national sports federations, has been withholding the TTFF's payments for years because they refuse to provide any sort of accounting of where the money goes.
You don't have to be particularly clever to figure out why that is.
Meanwhile, T&T Police COmmissioner Dwayne Gibbs says that his investigation of Warner on criminal charges is on hold until they FIFA tells them what they found. Which, of course, FIFA has sworn not to do. Neat trick.
So the Soca Warriors are finally, albeit very slowly, getting paid, which is in turn keeping the TTFF dead broke. But Jack is living well, thanks.
Now tell me again who won.