Uncle Sepp: Da Minister of Everyting

It seems our beloved Karene Asche might need to consider doing a rewrite.

Because yesterday it became crystal clear that the new HNIC in Caribbean football is none other than Uncle Sepp, who has just gotten done setting up a showdown with CONCACAF that's going to be fascinating to watch in the months to come.

You may recall that the Caribbean Football Union - such as it is at the moment, given the plethora of suspensions and resignations brought about by FIFA's reaction to the now-legendary Port of Spain Carnival of Bribes last May - was trying to hold an Extraordinary Congress in Jamaica last month to elect some officials and get the thing running again.

This being in reaction to the fact that the only legally functioning official was the General Secretary, a Trinidadian woman living in a hotel room outside the Caribbean and operating without any money from a couple borrowed offices.

That on-again/off-again rump Congress was called - somehow - by one of the announced candidates who want to replace Jack Warner as President: Harold Taylor, the longtime CFU GenSec and well-known Warner lickspittle about whom it was once said that he sneezes whenever Jack Warner catches a cold, who sent a letter around inviting everybody to attend.

He was later joined in this effort by a fellow candidate, former Jamaica FA President Tony James who is a) supported by Anton Sealey of the Bahamas and the other members of the openly despised whistleblower's group and b) the guy Burrell replaced after a huge public fight with Warner about all the TV money which was being stolen.

Basically, it was an attempt by the Warner loyalists and the reformers - who says politics doesn't make strange bedfellows - to get an election in before Jan 16, 2012 when Horace Burrell's wrist-slap FIFA Ethics Committee suspension will expire. At which point everyone knows the game will be up.

Haitian FA President Dr. Yves Jean-Bart, who decided that, as pretty much the only CFU ExCo member who isn't either suspended or (involuntarily) retired, he must be in charge of these things, then stepped in and announced that since the CFU has no money - Jack Warner kept it all - the Congress was cancelled.

The candidates responded that a) Jean-Bart has no authority to cancel a damned thing and b) a "sponsor" had been found so the Congress was on as scheduled.

The last word, however, came from the Jamaica FA who, as the host nation's federation, announced that they would neither sanction a Congress nor participate in any way.

The reason they did this was the same reason that Horace Burrell is President of the FA, an office which is filled by vote of the 15 major Jamaican clubs and which, being perennially on the verge of bankruptcy, are kept afloat by sponsorships from the "Captain's Bakery" chain. At last count, Burrell is the primary sponsor for 11 of them.

Fortunately, at about the same time, Sepp Blatter announced that he was "personally inviting" all of the CFU Presidents to Zurich for "discussions" on the situation.

Upon which poor beleaguered CFU General Secretary Angenie Kanhai, the official who told FIFA that Jack Warner had given her a bag full of money-stuffed envelopes and instructed her to have her people hand them out, saw the handwriting on the wall and resigned her position, effective December 20.

The Zurich meeting was scheduled for December 21.

The irony of this is beyond belief:

The CFU is lying in the gutter in a pool of it's own vomit at the moment because a FIFA Vice President, Mohammad Bin Hammam, paid the expenses for them all to attend a meeting in Trinidad where he handed out bundles of money in hopes of gaining their support.

Yet on Tuesday the President of FIFA paid all the expenses for these exact same guys - well, OK, a number of them had to be replaced - to fly first class to Zurich, stay in a five star hotel, dine on the finest fare the Swiss have to offer, get paid the normal FIFA $500 a day stipend and - you can bet - promised them all much bigger bundles of money than Bin Hammam did, and nobody will say a word.

The kicker: at least BinnyMo used his own money; Blatter is using FIFA's.

Now I'd be the first person to say that FIFA needed to step in and help these guys out. They've got no leadership, no offices, no money, not even a phone in their own name. Also no President, no Executive Committee, no General Secretary and no official records of any kind.

So they needed help, no question.

So we can certainly ignore the fact that Sepp Blatter has no constitutional authority of any kind whatsoever to call a meeting, (and spend FIFA's money doing so) or make any decisions whatsoever.

It does look odd in light of everyone's contention that not even CFU Vice President Yves Jean-Bart has no authority to call a Congress, not to mention Lisle Austin's still-in-effect court ruling that CONCACAF and the CFU are not actually part of FIFA, but I'll even go along with that.

Until you get to today's FIFA media release announcing the results of the "meetings", at which point the game becomes clear.

You need look no further than the headline in today's Jamaica Gleaner, which reads:


A new nine member "Normalization Committee" has been formed "to execute a number of tasks to return the CFU to equilibrium" and the first name on the list is the currently-under-Ethics-Committee-Suspension Horace Burrell.

It's pretty much all you need to know.

It's a solution which has Blatter's fingerprints all over it: committees, committees and more committees.

A ten point plan. New legal statutes. A new legal domicile (neatly taking Lisle Austin's lawsuit out of the equation). An "interim" General Secretary. Another Congress - money won't be a problem this time - in a few months.

As for CONCACAF, the Normalization Committee will appoint two delegates to attend all CONCACAF meetings and working groups, and they will "consult" with the confederation on the appointment of a member of the committee as the "Caribbean zone representative to the FIFA Executive Committee" as an "observer".

I'm taking bets on who this observer might turn out to be.

I'm also taking bets on how long it is before Blatter starts raising stink about this "observer" becoming a voting member.

Constitutionally, the office has to be filled by a CONCACAF Ordinary Congress, which won't be held until 2013, and there's little chance of them voluntarily calling a special election.

There's still he issue of Austin and his lawsuit, although at this point he'd be wise to tell his lawyers to drop it.

There's a new sheriff in CFU City, and his name is Horace.

Apparently those Ethics Committee suspension thingies are more like guidelines, really.