Forget Sven, Jack Warner is the Real Scandal
While the tabloid headline writers in England are hyperventilating from excitement, the workers inside the FIFA castle have to be smiling ear to ear as they see all of the attention given to the Sven-Goran Eriksson saga.
The smiles mask a fear though.
FIFA has to be asking itself, what happens when the Sven scandal goes away and hungry journalists turn their attention to an even worse scandal, that of Jack Warner?
For a good summary of the Warner situation, you can go here (you have to register but the LA Times is a decent paper so go ahead and sign up). Basically what we know is that Warner who is FIFA vice president, president of CONCACAF and a “special advisor” to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation, has worked the system so that he is set to make up to $8 million from the sale of his country’s World Cup tickets.
Warner maintains he has done nothing wrong and claims that people are out to get him because he is buddy-buddy with FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Here is an example of the man’s thinking. After you read it, you’ll wonder how he ever became in charge on anything.
Meanwhile, FIFA is investigating the matter and its spokespeople have said that things do look fishy, but check back with them in a bit.
Why should you care? Well, this is egregious even by FIFA’s historically sketchy standards. It would be naïve to say that the system isn’t set up to benefit those in power, but now that this scandal has been blown into the open FIFA owes it to the people who watch its sport – and pays its bureaucratic salaries – to fix the mess.
Jack Warner shouldn’t receive a dime from the sale of World Cup tickets. He should be forced to resign from his multiple football-related roles. And FIFA should take swift action to make sure something like this never happens again.
One more thing FIFA should do. It should grant media accreditation to Lasana Liburd of the Trinidad Express who broke this story. FIFA has denied Liburd’s request to cover T&T during the World Cup.
This is a shame because while Liburd sits at home, some of those tabloid reporters covering Sven will be in the press box. You have to think that FIFA prefers it that way.