20 March 2012

Going, going, nearly gone

There have been some big shakeups in the world of Brazilian football and more are about to happen. Today, or yesterday, it doesn’t matter, Ricardo Texeira, Mr. Jowls, Sickly Ricky, resigned from his post on the FIFA executive council. FIFA says they want an “immediate replacement”, ostensibly before anyone can notice that R.T. will be replaced with someone just like him, only healthier.

Grondona, a virile physical specimen
Nice medal, but who ate all the pies?
CONMEBOL, the South American football confederation, has three members on the FIFA executive committee. The remaining two are old school gangsters – Nicolás Leoz, a Paraguayan strongman, and Julio Grondona an Argentine snake in the grass. Both have been in power since the 19th century and are long overdue for one way tickets to Miami via Devil's Island. That nothing ever changes in South American football while the quality of play is detonated by the export of the best talent to Europe should concern the continent’s sporting press. The only voices in the shiny, happy wilderness of increased consumer consumption continue to come from the good lads at ESPN Brasil. I keep wondering how much longer it will take for ESPN’s parent company, Disney/ABC, to figure out that their mouse ears are being continually tweaked by Júlio Cruz and Juca Kufuri.

On a lighter note, João Havelange has been hospitalized with what appears to be a serious infection. Incredibly, unbelievably, yet predictably, I received an email yesterday citing this criminal mastermind for the Nobel Peace Prize!!! Havelange’s family fortune came from made millions dealing arms between Belgium and Brazil and then from building bus companies. Havelange coddled dictators and murderers throughout his career always asserting, “I don’t do politics I do sport.” He was cozy with the military regimes in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay and was constantly re-elected to the top spot of FIFA by greasing the palms of Asian and African dictators. Since 1974 he has been pulling the strings at FIFA. Blatter is his creation. Sickly Ricky was his son-in-law.

When the 96 yr old Havelange shuffles off this mortal coil in the next days or weeks, it’s only a matter of time, get ready for a white-washed version of his “grand contribution” to global sport. Nobel Peace Prize, indeed! The man should be tried at the Hague! Nuzman, head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and Rio 2016, went to kneel at his bedside yesterday, like a loyal godson gathering a few more pearls of raspy-throated wisdom. I am going to make myself preemptively sick so that I can pick up the obituaries with something approximating calm.

Was it something they ate? Go get 'em Andrew!!!!!
This may be the physical end of the Havlange-Texeira era but their legacies have created a scoliosis-ridden sporting body that will take the rest of us decades to correct. All it will take to rub the shine off these Teflon-coated gangsters is the release of those Swiss court documents that chronicle the extent and depth of the corruption scandals that these two were involved in.

For those of you that missed it, Romário, the former world player of the year and now state deputy for Rio said that Texeria’s removal from positions of authority at the CBF was akin to “removing a cancer from Brazilian football.” Touché, my good deputy.

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