Always good to start your week with a healthy dose of stupidity bundled up as an insult and delivered straight between your eyes. Gets your juices flowing.
Over the weekend, the newly-named head of FIFA's latest "Reform Committee" (if you're keeping track at home, this will be the fourth such committee since 2011) a 77 year old (of course) Swiss (of course) lawyer (of course) named Francois Carrard delivered this summary of the situation:
“For the US football – soccer – does not bear the same weight as baseball, basketball and American football. There, it’s just an ethnic sport for schoolgirls . . . in addition, the case involves only a few rogue members of the FIFA executive committee.”
He then added that in his opinion, Sepp Blatter "has been treated unfairly".
This is the "independent" person who has been appointed by Sepp Blatter to preside over an 11 member committee entirely appointed by Sepp Blatter (one from each of the Confederations and five other FIFA lickspittles) to examine what went wrong with FIFA under the leadership of Sepp Blatter.
I don't know about you, but I feel better already.
In truth of course this ignorant, arrogant old fool who thinks Sepp Blatter is just a peachy guy wasn't really aiming his monumental stupidity at soccer in the US; he obviously knows little and cares less about that.
Rather, his disdain is for the United State Department of Justice and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, without whom these "few rogue members" of FIFA would be conducting business as usual even as we speak instead of sitting in jail cells:
“Since soccer is not a true American sports, I struggle to understand – and I’m not the only one – why the Justice Department was so excited to the point that the Attorney-General should hold a news conference in New York. Crimes of this type occur every day in the United States.”
So "soccer isn't an American sport", the US Attorney General ought to mind her own business and, anyway, bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud are par for the course over here in the lawless US of A.
This from a "lawyer" who intends to follow the truth wherever it leads.
For an opposing opinion, we have Michael Hershman, a co-founder of Transparency International and a member of the FIFA independent governance committee created in 2011 under the leadership of Basel specialist Mark Pieth, referring to the "vicious circle" of FIFA’s reform attempts:
“Now FIFA wants to establish a new task force made up of representatives from the confederations and federations within FIFA to recommend reforms. Does this not sound like the Einstein definition of insanity?”
Why yes. It does. But if you're going to do it, why not just go all the way and appoint a chairman who is apparently hostile to the idea of punishing the crooks and thinks Sepp Blatter needs to be defended?
In more strange and inexplicable FIFABlatter news, late last week The Grand Poohbah himself, writing on a sort of blog on the FIFA webpage, wrote that he feels it's time for world football to finally adopt his infamous "6+5" proposal, which went down in flames just a few short years ago.
For those of you who came in late, essentially "6+5" refers to instituting a rule for all Division 1 professional soccer leagues that every team must start each match with at least six players on the field who are eligible to play for the national team of whatever country the league is located in.
Aside from the fact that it has been rejected and stands no chance whatsoever of being revived - much as it would be entertaining to see Chelsea try and put 11 guys on the field, let alone how bad the three Canadian MLS teams would be - the question has to be: Why is he bringing this up now?
He's the lamest of lame ducks, a toxic entity who is the subject of worldwide ridicule and derision. Nobody on Earth cares what he thinks about anything anymore. Does he honestly believe that he can suddenly change the subject, go back to business as usualand use his bully pulpit to effect change in the order of things?
Well, yes, apparently he does.
And then there's the very strange tale of the Platini file:
A few days after UEFA President Michel Platini declared himself a candidate to replace Blatter - unlike Seppy, he had refused to run in May, keeping his pledge to"never run" against his old mentor - a 1400 word document entitled “Platini: Skeletons From the Closet.” showed up in the mailbox of several European publications, including Germany's Welt am Sonntag.
The document "paints an unflattering picture of the former France international and questions his suitability for the role of Fifa president", and mostly centers around the by-now well known tale of Platini being invited to lunch with the Emir of Qatar and the President of Francewhere he spent four hours listening to them discuss all the wonderful things Qatar could do for France if they were so inclined.
After which, as we all know, Platini went back on his promise to Sunil Gulati and voted for Qatar. Subsequently, Platini's son Laurent found gainful employment with Qatar Sports Investments, Inc, among other fishy outcomes and Qatar-owned BeIN SPorts paid big money for the previously undesirable rights to broadcast Ligue 1.
But the question here is not whether Platini was politically influenced to vote for Qatar: he certainly was.
Rather, the problem is that the dossier was mailed to these various European publications directly from FIFA's Headquarters in Zurich.
Yes, you read that right.
UEFA has filed a formal complaint. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke say he has begun "an investigation" into just how such a thing could have happened. No one expects to hear anything about it again, unless Loretta Lynch holds another press conference.
All of which might not raise many eyebrows, except that on Saturday former Korean FA head and FIFA Vice President Chung Moon-Joon, heir to the massive Hyundai empire and the other currently declared candidate to replace Blatter, bitterly denounced another new smear campaign originating in Zurich, this one aimed squarely at him.
An article, also in Welt am Sonntag, claimed that Chung offered the ExCoa whopping $777 million dollars in return for the 2022 World Cup being given to South Korea, saidmoney to be paid into a new "Global Soccer Fund" which the ExCo would be in charge of looting.
Excuse me, I meant "dispensing to needy countries."
Then, just yesterday, a FIFA source has been quoted as saying that the supposedly secretInvestigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee has recommended a 15 year suspension for Chung over the World Cup bid process.
Chung is furious. His spokesman issued a scathing reply:
"This is yet another clear proof that President Blatter is interfering in the upcoming FIFA presidential election, just as he has done in past elections,"
"FIFA is engaged in a self-defeating attempt to sabotage Dr. Chung`s candidacy, following its recent attacks against UEFA president Michel Platini (another candidate).
"President Blatter should stop intervening in the election and resign immediately."
Again, it begs the question: why is Blatter bothering to try and destroy all the candidates if he himself isn't even running?
And why did he hold a presser - only the lapdogs were invited - and goon a long diatribe about how "in the past, one continent has tried to dominate world football" (no one was named but it's fairly certain that he didn't mean Australia) adding that “this cannot work in FIFA.”
What can it all mean?
Well, maybe part of the answer came this weekend at the annual "Sepp Blatter Charity Football Game" in his hometown of Ulrichen, Switzerland where, they presented Sepp with a gift: a cow named "Colombo".
It was probably just a misunderstanding he thought they said "CASH cow" and replied that he'd love one, thanks.