UEFA Threatens the Nuclear Option

At an early morning meeting UEFA President Michel Platini confronted Sepp Blatter face to face and "demanded" that he step down pending the results of the Swiss prosecutors investigation of FIFA corruption.

"I have had enough" Platini reportedly told the 79 year old Swiss grandee - " enough is enough, too much is too much. I am the first to be disgusted."

"We started together and now I am asking you to step down as we cannot continue this way"

Blatter reportedly told him "it's too late, I can't today all of sudden leave when Congress starts this afternoon."

Platini told reporters later that UEFA will stand solidly behind the candidacy of Prince Ali of Jordan (he estimates 45-48 out of 53 and thinks he can get more) and says Blatter's support from other confederations is not as united as he thinks it is.

It's still a pretty long shot, and betting against Blatter has always been a bad idea, but for the first time Platini added some teeth: he implied, suggested, talked around and avoided the question which is now circulating around UEFA gathering support even as we speak:

Boycotting the World Cup.

That's the one ace UEFA has and clearly Platini doesn't want to issue empty threats but the one thing that can beat Sepp Blatter isthe prospect of the money drying up.

And if UEFA, along with the US and a few others, decides that they've really had enough of being dragged through the mud along with FIFA and refuses to show up in Russia in 2018, what are the TV rights worth then? What if Europe and North American TV isn't interested in paying the current $500 million rights fee for a tournament which doesn't include their teams?

What is that world cup worth to Sony, Visa or anyone else?

And how much money will trickle down to the 150 or so countries which hae never appeared in a world cup and probably never will but continue to pocket $400,000 year after year out of FIFA's bank accounts?

Between now and tomorrow Sepp has to convince the AFC, CAF, CONCACAF and Oceania that this kind of thing could never happen.

It may be a tough sell.

In case you were wondering, CONCACAF's resident Next Man Up is, once again Alfredo Hawit of Honduras.

You may remember Alfredo - who is variously described as a "non-entity" a "lackey" and "who?" - was the confederation's interim President back in 2011 when Lisle Austin, who took over when Jack Warner resigned, was ousted by the CONCACAF ExCo for trying to fire Chuck Blazer.

Not so much because they were all that happy with Blazer but a) the power to hire and fire the General Secretary lies with the Executive Committee,not the President and b) Austin's publicly stated reason for the firing was that Blazer had become a traitor to Jack Warner.

Subsequently of course Sepp Blatter invited the entire confederation to Zurich as his guests and staged an "election" which gave his close pal Jeffrey Webb the big chair.

So Hawit, a lawyer, faded back into the woodwork until yesterday when he by seniority he became the de facto President once again.

Which may or may not pose a problem for Sepp Blatter.

Webb had the confederation well in hand -with the exception of the USSF - and had promised Sepp that he could deliver the goods come election day. His performance at the CONCACAF Congress two weeks ago was truly sickening, fawning and scraping like Theon Grayjoy following Ramsey Snow around Winterfell.

Now it would seem that the individual CONCACAF federations, lacking a strong leader, may very well be plenty pissed off that it's their outfit that keeps getting hammered. Sepp hasn't lifted a finger or said a single word in their support and keeps letting his "close friends" in CONCACAF get hung out to dry.

They were largely ale to forgive the whole Warner thing - they blame Blazer for that anyway - but here we are again, CONCACAF in worldwide disgrace while equally odious criminals like Issa Hayatou in Africa continue to dance their way out of trouble.

It says here that maybe - just maybe - CONCACAF is in a sour mood and perhaps more than a little willing to make a statement.

We'll see tomorrow.