Some of the greatest images of this year so far(apart from Royal babies) have been about the not so Beautiful Game. The Magnificent Seven dragged out of their 5 star bedrooms at the Hotel Baur au Lac in May by Swiss police: Sepp Blatter exiting a side door at FIFA HQ when he resigned 4 days after being re-elected at FIFA Congress; The US Attorney General Loretta Lynch Press Conference in NYC; BUT THE BEST FOR LAST-SO FAR, Blatter being showered with fake $ US bills by the British comedian Simon Brodkin and a wad of money left on the podium for FIFA World Cup 2026 NORTH KOREA bid.
The last one was awesome-nobody died, unlike what's happening in Qatar, nobody got hurt-except for their pride-and FIFA descended in farce. The next election for a NEW President has been set for February 2016 and Blatter is hanging on for 9 months. He promises changes including the publishing of salaries and expenses, as is common practice in US and UK government for example. Why won't he state his current and past income and that of FIFA Exco's and senior staff NOW ???
This month's CONCACAF GOLD CUP has attracted loads of negative comments, including some dodgy officiating, massive long distance travel BUT some pretty decent crowds and some sold out stadiums. It was designed to have the two most popular teams meet in the final this weekend but a Jamaica team well coached by world traveller Winnie Schafer shocked the Stars & Stripes in the first semi-final in Atlanta, GA while in the second, Panama, with 10 men for an hour or so were about to shock Mexico until a 90 minute dubious pk and another in extra time and some sordid carrying on by the Panamanian players, staff and fans, who claim that they were CONCACAF'd !
I didn't watch any of the matches live and only the latter stages and penalty shoot out of the Panama v Trinidad & Tobago contest a day late in MacGochans Bar at the harbourside in Tobermoray, Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. www.macgochans-tobermoray.co.uk. A brilliant place. SO USA v Panama for 3rd place and El-Tri v The Reggae Boyz at PPL Park in Philadelphia PA on Saturday and Sunday. www.concacaf.com
Meanwhile disgraced former CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb was extradited from Zurich and pleaded not guilty to racketeering and other charges in a New York courtroom. He was placed under house arrest within 20 miles of the courtroom, has to wear an ankle tag and surrendered his Cayman Island and two British passports. Extradition papers were also sent to Port of Spain regarding his predecessor Jack Warner and also to Ascuncion, for Paraguayan ex CONMEBOL President Nicolas Leoz. The head of the Brazilian Sports Marketing group TRAFFIC has also agreed to hand over $150 MILLION in ill gotten gains.
Alejandro Burzaco former CEO of TORNEOS was accused of handing over $110 million in bribes to Leoz and other CONMEBOL executives. He fled to Italy but surrendered to authorities and is also facing extradition.