Here’s a picture of FIFA’s executive boardroom. Yes, it would probably be right at home on a Star Trek set. But the point is, it’s empty.
You see, after a night of the long knives wielded by FIFA’s ethics committee (sorry, that phrase still cracks me up), there’s no one left to run the joint.
Septic Bladder, the head of soccer’s ‘governing’ body, has been punted for 90 days for a payment he made to European soccer boss Michel Platini. Leaving him just enough time to come back in January and clean out his desk ahead of a new presidential vote.
Platini was a hot contender to win that vote. But he’s also been punted for 90 days, for taking Septic’s cheque.
Another presidential contender, Chung Mong-joon, whose family is basically Hyundai, has been shown the door for six years — six years — over some monkey business with the bidding process for the really smelly World Cups that were awarded to Russia and Qatar.
And FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke has copped a three-month ban. Just because.Embed from Getty Images
Which leaves this bloke in charge. Meet Issa Hayatou. He’s run African soccer for donkeys and is a member of the IOC. Oh, and he’s been accused of taking bribes in relation to World Cup TV rights in the 1990s and the 2022 World Cup bidding process.
At least it will be a seamless transition.
Septic, of course, is protesting his innocence. “I am convinced that evil will come to light and good will prevail,” he says. Yep, that’s what we’re counting on too, mate.
Almost a week on and England keeps picking at the open wound of its Rugby World Cup demise. Which is fantastic sport for the rest of us.
So far the most outlandish theory has come from former England cricket captain Mike Atherton— yup, someone who knows even less about rugby than the England squad — who reckons the players were simply too nice.
“The whole thing about England in the last year or 18 months has been creating this culture: dressing nicely, singing the national anthem well and all that kind of thing,” said Atherton, as England slipped to eighth in the world rugby rankings, its equal lowest ever.
“We need a bit of nastiness or the odd character in there to create a bit of conflict.”
This coming from a bloke whose batting was so excruciating to watch it was likened to trench warfare.
On Twitter, rugby league convert Sam Burgess has been made the scapegoat for England’s woes, with the hashtag #BlameBurgess wheeled out to explain bad weather, traffic jams, a London sinkhole, personal mishaps, the VW emissions scandal — and England’s rugby loss.
But as we all know, if you’re going to blame someone, blame Watto. Speaking of which, here’s Shane Watson being bowled by a rank full toss in the Matador Cup.
On the bright side, at least he got his pads out of the way.Embed from Getty Images
No such missteps from Vladimir Putin who, in between mounting air strikes on Syria, took to the ice to celebrate his 63rd birthday in a nationally televised ice hockey match. Vlad scored seven goals. Of course he did.
At the other extreme, the New York Jets NFL team are proving what candy arses they are, with news that when they travel to London for a game this weekend they’ll be taking, among other things, 350 rolls of their own toilet paper rather than resort to the thin stuff on offer in the Old Dart.
Says one of the team’s operations bods: “Some may say that’s a little over the top or whatnot, but it didn’t really cost that much, so why not?”
But if you’re worried for the future of sport, fear not. Here’s a heartening little clip that shows what happens when you put gridiron to music. Go the Milford Mighty Mites.
Have a good weekend, everyone. And whatever you do, do it to music.