Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Is England really counting on Concacaf President Jack Warner to deliver the 2018 World Cup?

The English FA is fighting hard to win the 2018 World Cup and they are willing to put their team into the mix to make it happen. Last week news surfaced that they are trying to organize a friendly in Trinidad & Tobago to celebrate the centenary of the local federation.

Why is this of interest? Concacaf President and Fifa Vice-President Jack Warner just happens to be from T&T and is very, very involved with their federation. He also happens to control 3 of the 24 votes on the Fifa executive committee and has a major influence over the three Latin America members, all of whom will be voting on the location of 2018.

The interest level jumps up a few more notches once you look at some of Warner's past statements, specifically this classic, "England - who invented the sport - has never had any impact on world football. England at no time has had the love and support of Europe. For Europe, England is an irritant."

What is he saying now? "[The] fact is that what I did say was nothing but the reproduction of opinions and background whispers offered by false friends in Europe.

"Numerous European football grandees have often made depreciative remarks about England in the past. What I did was merely to state them and share them with the public at large."

See, no change of opinion, he was just passing along information that other bad people had told him.

So everything is happy for jolly old England right? Well maybe not so much as Jack Warner has this habit of getting himself in situations that don't look to be just right, which brings us to Dominica.

"Last month Warner presented himself at the Dominica Football Association, demanding the resignation of the chief executive, Dexter Francis, and the dissolution of the DFA's executive board. Dominica, which has only 500 registered players, complained to Fifa about what it called his 'illegal' actions."

As the Dominican FA put it, "He tried to bully us in our little country."

Fifa looked over the events and ruled that Warner went well beyond his authority and that "the Dominica FA and the Dominican football community [that] the associations committee fully recognizes the democratically and rightfully elected president, Dexter Francis, and his board as being in charge of the football association and the organisation of football in Dominica."

Could this finally be the issue, unlike so many before, that brings Warner down? One reason it might is Warner counts on the small countries like Dominica to stay on as Concacaf president. If these small countries start to see him as a bully, they could bail on him and open up the confederation to new leadership that might not be so willing to except a friendly in return for World Cup votes.

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Anonymous Dmitry said...

Is the 2014 World Cup definitely settled in Brazil? The whole Jack Warner thing is bizarre, the way he thinks he can mold England's fortunes single-handedly. At any rate though, I would love to see England get to host the World Cup again, and for the first time in 52 years, were it to be awarded to them for 2018. The scene from London to Liverpool to Manchester to Middlesbrough would be electric. Imagine some of the smaller venues welcoming in some great European and world powers? Great to imagine.

5:05 PM  
Blogger ERic said...

Yes, 2014 is definitely in Brazil.

Man, it would be so fabulous to see Warner get the boot.

But that will never happen until someone else comes along that can give the Caribbean at least as good as he's given them.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Starting11 said...

Jack Warner is an ass. The quicker he leaves football, the better the game will be for it.

6:45 PM  

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