Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Warner gets his revenge as Blazer is fired

Chuck Blazer has been given the heave-ho by CONCACAF in retaliation for him kick-starting the corruption scandal currently engulfing FIFA House in Zurich.

In a letter released this evening, interim CONCACAF president Lisle Austin announced that the American had been, "terminated as general secretary of Concacaf with immediate effect", having "grossly insulted and defamed" the Caribbean associations.

Austin called Blazer's single-handed transparency crusade, "inexcusable and a gross misconduct of duty and judgment. It is apparent that you are no longer fit to act as secretary general of Concacaf and to represent its members."

Reports earlier today stated that Blazer was in conflict with Jack Warner's temporary replacement over his reporting of Warner to the FIFA Ethics Committee.

Austin, a Barbadian, had given Blazer 48 hours to explain why he had bypassed CONCACAF's Executive Committee and employed a Chicago law firm, Collins & Collins, to report the $40,000 cash payments made to the Caribbean Football Union.

Blazer's motives for reporting his boss's latest murky deed after 15 years of silence have yet to be clarified. Earlier this month he, along with the rest of CONCACAF's members, re-elected Warner unopposed as the region's chief. Perhaps now he is out of a job, Blazer can come clean about the crimes and misdemeanors of the 'Pirate of the Caribbean' he called his boss for so long.

The hand of Warner looms large over this latest news, especially given his foreboding comment on Sunday, "And if he (Blatter) believes that he has got Blazer as his ally..." Blazer's complaint earlier today that Warner had already breached his suspension certainly tipped the FIFA Vice-President's hand into retaliating quickly via a close ally in Austin.

While Warner remains officially quarantined, his role as the most influential man in FIFA politics looks far from over. True to his wily nature, Warner performed a neat u-turn over his president today, urging fellow Caribbean delegates in writing to back Sepp Blatter, having said on Sunday that he "has to be stopped."

After Blatter's 'ostrich' press conference on Sunday, where he claimed "Football is not in a crisis" (!), raised alternately anger and laughs among assembled journalists, tomorrow's 'election', in which the Swiss is the only candidate, promises to be a carnival of absurdity as the frightened sheep from across the soccer world cast their votes for a man and regime thoroughly discredited and ridiculed around the globe.

Keep your eyes and ears trained on FIFA H.Q. in Zurich; this house-fire is far from over. If anything, the fire-fighters are making it worse.

-Sean O'Conor

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