Now I don’t want to get all heavy this week but might I begin by quoting the FIFA statement on Honest Jack Warner: “As a consequence of Mr Warner's resignation, all ethics committee procedures against him have been closed and the presumption of innocence is maintained".
Well there you go - in FIFA land it appears that you can be as dodgy as a Peter Beardsley haircut for years and years but as long as you resign before they finish their investigation you are presumed innocent. Dunno about you but there’s something in that very statement that suggests Warner is guiltier than a shepherd caught with a ewe’s hind-legs in his welly-boots.
Vice President, Mr Warner, does not mean President of Vice.
Look out sepp n Jack. Check your watches are still on your wrists!
It strikes me that when the police come round my house looking for stolen goods I can just tell ‘em that I don’t live there and re-direct them to my blameless criminal record.
If I get caught speeding on a motorway I’m sure the Old Bill will be more than satisfied when I remind them that I gave up my driving licence a couple of days ago so the fines no longer apply.
Fact is, Blatter’s FIFA have such contempt for the traditions of law and ethics that they wriggle off the hook like greased Berlusconis at every turn.
Warner’s insistence that he’s done nowt wrong is accompanied by a curious mention of the FIFA tradition of offering ‘gifts’. I mean what the fuck does that mean, Jack? If you go for a meeting with Mr. Warner what can you expect? A paperweight? A signed photograph of Dwight Yorke? A contract for the building rights to a new football stadium/education facility?
I think, though, that it’s the blatancy that feels so insulting. Like Assad’s ridiculous speech blaming a little bunch of ‘saboteurs’ for a wholesale nationwide protest in Syria. Or the fact that the senior executives responsible for the Potters Bar crash all worked for Railtrack – which no longer exists – so they cannot be hauled in front of the beak.
I mean are we really supposed to be that thick?
Blatter’s been greasing so many palms nowadays that it’s impossible to shake anyone in FIFA by the hand without sliding off and hitting your chin on the million-dollar shagpile. The man who put the Swizz into Swizzerland is proving pretty well non-stick too. But anyone who believes the ethics committee operates independently of the Sepp-tic head must be lost in a cloud of hippy happiness somewhere in a field in Somerset.
And FIFA, remember, is an organisation that is intent on laying down codes of conduct to the game’s officials, its players, its managers. From what you can glean from this latest hollow joke of a ruling, that means keep diving, feigning, tugging and whingeing. Get away with as much as you can. It’s what football people do, isn’t it?
Meanwhile one of sport’s most fastitdious gentlemanly pursuits has got itself a new hero. Rory McIlroy, a leggy pixie of a man, tonked the field to all parts at Congressional last week.
Here's Rory modelling the new McIlroy Ear-Muffs
I’m not a golf nut. In fact I only have to see a Pringle sweater and I want to firebomb the nearest Edinburgh Woollen Mill. For me, the question ‘What’s your handicap?’ is right up there in the list of crap conversational ice-breakers with ‘What are you driving these days?’ and ‘You look a bit like that Gary Sinise fella out of CSI.’
(By the way my golf handicap is that I’m shit at it.)
Nevertheless you can’t help warming to the Tigger-toed lad from Holywood. Anyone who can smile while they’re earning vast sums of money has got to be welcomed. If only Andy Murray could summon up more than the odd rictus grimace, eh?
Plus McIlroy possesses that easiness of style which suggests that the golf fairies were at one end of his Moses basket when he was a gurgling babe, magicking touch into his fingertips. (I’m not sure what the golf fairies look like, mind, although I bet Ian Poulter has got the outfit somewhere.)
And of course, young Rory has turned around two terrible experiences – the last at Augusta was as bad it gets, and got stronger from it. When a lad like him plays in a way that a pitch n putt plonker like me can entirely empathise with, then you know the lad’s having the worst round since the Blue Bell ran out of beer on draught.
Even the American galleries were right behind him, although there wasn’t any home-grown talent to root for, was there?
How delightful it is to live in times where American sporting dominance seems to be on the wane! Wimbledon starts this week and the men’s champion has as much chance of being American as it has of being a pony.
All right the women’s champ will probably be a Williams – which most people have told me will be boring. Well you know what if it’s not a Williams it’ll probably be some six-foot-one inch blonde Eastern European with all the personality of a flagpole. So you takes your pick.
I mean who wants to spend two weeks looking at this?
If I had to choose a winner this fortnight, I’d go for the weather, narrowly followed by Nadal. I reckon Venus’ll win the lasses (they tend to share it out between them Williamses). There’ll be one British woman in the second round draw (Keothavong’s playing some other English lass who’s 2,376 in the world).
And Murray’ll make the semis. Sigh.
Meanwhile Villa-Boas has resigned as Porto coach and appears to be on his way to Stamford Bridge. He’s like Mourinho’s Mini-me. You wouldn’t be surprised if Jose’s funding a Mourinho-cloning laboratory would you? Be interesting to see how many of the old guard allow themselves to be lectured by a lad who’s barely out of his managerial short trousers.
Fact is, Chelski could do with an offload of the Drog, Lamps, Essien et al. Maybe the New Boy’ll make it happen. Interesting times.