FIFA goes into crisis management mode

Friday Funnies strap 2-2

It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for. FIFA boss Septic Bladder is under criminal investigation.

In the scheme of the shenanigans that passes for football administration, it’s not the biggest misdemeanour we’ve heard about.

Picture by Damien du Toit
Pic by Damien du Toit

But it embroils the key players of soccer’s ‘governing’ body — Septic himself and the bloke who, until now, was considered his likely successor.

In 2011, Septic paid European football boss Michael Platini around £1.5 million for ‘technical advice’ provided between 1998 and 2002.

That’s the first whiff of something smelly. I don’t know about you but if some geezer owed me seven figures, especially Sepp Blatter, I wouldn’t be giving him 13 years to cough up.

Platini says the delay is perfectly understandable. Septic couldn’t pay any earlier because of FIFA’s ‘financial position’. That Platini swallowed that line when FIFA was swimming in dosh raises just a few concerns about his financial credentials.

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Shortly after he received the cash, Platini, quite the critic of Septic’s leadership, did a U-turn of epic proportions and backed his boss for re-election.

Unlike the olfactorily challenged Platini, prosecutors smell a rat. In their eyes, Septic made a   ‘disloyal payment’ and Platini is something ‘between a witness and an accused person’.

Assume the crisis management position.
Assume the crisis management position.

FIFA has responded in its usual head up its bum fashion. Septic’s not standing down any time soon and Platini, who would have us believe he’s ‘calm and totally serene’, remains a candidate to replace him.

As all this was going down, soccer’s ‘governing’ body did finally take the opportunity to throw former vice-president Jack Warner under a bus.

After years of doing nothing, FIFA has announced Warner, who faces assorted corruption and bribery charges, is banned from football for life after violating its code of ethics several times. Doesn’t matter that Warner resigned all his football posts four years ago.

No, the news in this particular announcement is that FIFA had a code of ethics. Here’s a rare picture of Septic holding it. Looks perfectly at ease, don’t you think?

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On the field, things were no less weird this week. Brazilian referee Gabriel Murta took the view that yellow and red cards didn’t cut the mustard, pulling a gun when an amateur soccer match got out of hand. Yes, he brought an actual weapon on to the field of play.

Murta says he was slapped and kicked by a player. A member of the military police, he simply went to retrieve his gun from the locker room so he could arrest the player in question.

Sounds perfectly reasonable, yes? Well it did to the Brazilian soccer league, which didn’t think the incident warranted Murta’s suspension. “He acted in self-defense,” it explained. “Everyone knows the difficulty of amateur championships.”

So, guns on the field — fine. But celebrate a goal by jumping in an ambulance and that’s an immediate yellow card. And they wonder why soccer’s a mess.

A Queensland bloke has been sent to the sin bin for not showing the appropriate level of enthusiasm when his wife presented him with rugby league grand final tickets for his birthday.

Debbie McCarthy slaved over a hot laptop until 2 o’clock in the morning to bag tickets to the all-Queensland affair but didn’t get the response she expected.

Now she’s selling the tickets on Gumtree. And chucking in the hubby for free. “Will even throw in the ungrateful husband,” she said in the ad. “No cost for him. FREE GIVE AWAY TO GOOD HOME.”

Finally, he’s been steering Formula 1 cars at breakneck speed all year. But until his 18th birthday this week, Max Verstappen wasn’t allowed to drive to the local shops.

The situation was rectified on Wednesday when young Max passed his driving test on the first go. “It’s a relief,” he said.

Have a good long weekend, everyone. Drive carefully.

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