Despicable Mo

In case there was some question about just how low disgraced former FIFA bigshot Mohammad bin Hammam of Qatar is willing to go in his quest to overturn his lifetime ban and go back to living the federation-funded lifestyle of one of the oil sheikhs he's been rubbing elbows with for lo these many years, well, wonder no more.

His latest attempt to regain power involves a simple narrative: the racists did it.

In an utterly contemptible letter written to Ethics Committee Vice Chairman Petrus Damaseb, BinMo makes it clear that he's more than willing to declare a race war for control of the Federation.

What's even worse is that he happily implies that Damaseb, a distinguished international jurist with an impeccable reputation, is nothing more than Sepp Blatters' house servant (I doubt if the autocensor will let me use the word that truly applies here), a sort of latter day Namibian Stepin Fetchet running around the marble halls of FIFA HQ shining the white mans' shoes.

Think I'm going a bit overboard here? Here's BinMo referring to FIFA GenSec Jerome Valckes' attitude during the May 29 suspension announcement where, as I recall it, Valcke in his role as FIFA GenSec, dealt with procedural issues only:

"Valcke was playing the role of your master during that press conference".

A few insulting sentences later, Mo concludes:

"You were but a ring on his finger"

Then, apparently concerned that Damaseb, despite being an impressive intellectual force, might just be a bit too stupid to pick up what he's laying down here, BinMo spells it out for him:

"I am worried that your brothers in the Caribbean...."

Seeing as how Damaseb is an African, why does he refer to the CFU delegates as his "brothers"? It couldn't be that what he means is "your fellow black people" could it?

And the kicker is at the bottom, where he indicates that he has cc'd "The member associations of the CFU" which is cheap but at least explicable given the circumstances, and "The member associations of the CAF" which has no purpose whatsoever except to try and present the man to his associates as a tool of the "Europeans".

Cynical race baiting aside - and in this case it's particularly laughable considering that in much of the MIddle East the African slave trade wasn't made illegal until the 1960's, and then only grudgingly - the letter replows some old ground, some of which is a lot firmer than his new "It's the Europeans" thesis.

His actual argument boils down to the fact that, when push comes to shove, nobody can testify for an absolute fact that the million bucks came from BinMo except Jack Warner and he's got his own problems at the moment and has zero interest - and even less motive - in taking the stand and spilling the beans.

Not to mention the fact that by doing so he'd be admitting to conspiring to illegally smuggle money into the country whose government he is a part of.

Otherwise, as Al Capone famously told Kevin Costner: "You got nothin".

It's enough for the Ethics Committee to conclude that since the money came from somebody that Binny is the only logical source. The Court of Arbitration for Sport, however, may say that's simply not enough, in which case MBH may find himself back at the FIFA trough before the end of the year.

I'll give you a moment to ponder that one.

Of course we're all aware of the fact that, more and more, FIFA members are choosing sides based on, shall we say, "regional interests".

The fact that a sleazy bastard like MBH is more than happy to paint the issue along racial lines - if that letter was anything else, if it was only a case of "the Europeans" against "everybody else" then why didn't the AFC or CONMEBOL get copied? - if it gets him what he wants only illustrates the point that such a line exists.

Sepp Blatter, who has monumental problems of his own which we'll deal with later this week, tried to rally support a few days ago by hauling out the musty, dusty, moth-eaten and utterly ludicrous "the English are making trouble because they're still pissed about Sir Stanley Rous losing the FIFA Presidency to Joao Havelange" meme, which likely had millions of fans worldwide (to include England) scratching their heads and asking "Sir Stanley Who?".

(I'll save you the trouble: Rous lost the Presidency in 1974).

But Sepp understands the significance of the Rous sacking: Havelange rode to the Presidency on a wave of anti-European sentiment which represented the first flexings of the Third Worlds' FIFA muscles. His comments may have seemed like the bewildering mewlings of a confused and doddering old fool but Blatter knew exactly what he was saying, namely that we've all got to stand up to these awful, arrogant European countries with their fancy-schmancy leagues who think they ought to have more say in things than Botswana, Tahiti and Outer Mongolia.

Frankly though, cheap politicians like the guys who run FIFA - and/or who want back in, a category which most definitely includes Jack Warner - will say or do just about anything, regardless of the consequences, to gain short term advantage.

And the law of unintended consequences, as often as not, tends to win out in the end.

If these guys keep on pushing the "us against them" argument, be it along national, continental, racial or financial lines, they may end up killing the Golden Goose when "them" decides to go it alone.

And some people are beginning to speculate that that time may not be so very far off.

I the meantime, is it wrong to hope that Bin Hammam gets run over by a bus?