This is a brave night to cool a courtesan.
I’ll speak a prophecy ere I go.
When priests are more in word than matter,
When brewers mar their malt with water,
When nobles are their tailors’ tutors,
No heretics burned but wenches’ suitors,
When every case in law is right,
No squire in debt nor no poor knight,
When slanders do not live in tongues,
Nor cutpurses come not to throngs,
When usurers tell their gold i’ th’ field,
And bawds and whores do churches build—
Then shall the realm of Albion
Come to great confusion.
Then comes the time, who lives to see ’t,
That going shall be used with feet.
This prophecy Merlin shall make, for I live before his time.
– The Fool, King Lear
FIFA is crumbling. The head of FIFA has been suspended after four major sponsors — Sugar Water, Clown Burgers, Debt Card, and American Beer — demanded that the beleaguered Sepp Blatter step down. It is, as the fool notes above, a time when the usurers count their gold in public, when the brewers water down their beer, when the Pope sounds like a rational person, and a time when Theo Walcott is playing like one of the world’s best strikers. In other words, it is a time of great confusion.
But let me get back to FIFA and their criminal gang for a moment. There was a brief moment of clarity when FIFA suspended Blatter and his sidekick Michel Platini, along with General Secretary Valcke, under a storm of allegations of bribery and corruption. The allegations are specifically that Platini took a bribe to take a dive against Blatter during a FIFA general election.
Those allegations followed on the arrests of several high level FIFA officials, including Jeff Webb, the former FIFA vice-president and head of FIFA’s North American, Central America, and Caribbean Confederation, known by the mouthful acronym “CONCACAF”. Webb isn’t alone in the CONCACAF scandal, the secretary general, Enrique Sanz, was fired in August. Mr. Sanz had taken over from Chuck Blazer, who was banned from all football activities for life in 2011 — because of… wait for it, wait for it… he had Trump hair. No, sorry, it was because of corruption.
You would think that an organization which is crumbling at such pace would find it difficult to organize matches but you’d be wrong. The show must go on: there are games to play, stadiums to be filled. and bribes to be paid.
One of those games is today’s match between USA and Mexico being held in the Rose Bowl, Pasadena California. The match is for the CONCACAF Gold Cup which sounds like an amazing tournament and cup but it’s really yet another illustration of how FIFA can turn any situation into a money-spinning event.
This is going to be a weird ride so, sit back for a second and hang on. Today’s match is the first CONCACAF Gold Cup. Winner of the CONCACAF Gold Cup gets to go to the FIFA Confederations Cup, to be played in Russia, and the Copa América Centenario, which is a fancy name for the Copa America, which was always really just the Copa South America but is being hosted by the United States for the first time ever.
Confused yet? Wait, because when it comes to FIFA and CONCACAF, our cups runneth over.
Ok, so, the Confederations Cup is basically the pre-World Cup. It’s a tournament hosted by the World Cup host nation in the year before they host the World Cup. The teams at this tournament are the host nation (Росси́я), the World Cup winners (Germany), the AFC Cup winners (Australia), the Copa America winners (Chile!), The CONCACAF (Gold) Cup winners (decided today), Africa Cup of Nations winners (2017), the UEFA Euro 2016 winners, and the 2016 OFC winners.
CONCACAF admission to the Confederations Cup used to be decided by the CONCACAF Cup winner from the nearest year, so in this case, that would have been Mexico because they won the 2015 CONCACAF Cup (which was one of the most controversial tournaments in CONCACAF history). But the problem is that the CONCACAF cup is held every two years. So, prior to 2013 teams would intentionally field weakened teams in the CONCACAF Cup which was held 3 years out from the World Cup and then everyone would field better sides for the tournament which granted admission to the Confederations Cup.
The simple answer is to stop having a Confederations Cup every two years, but that doesn’t make money. So, instead, CONCACAF decided to have an extra match, a one-time playoff between the winners of the 2013 CONCACAF Cup and the winners of the 2015 CONCACAF Cup. It’s pretty much the dumbest solution anyone has ever conceived: hey, let’s have a 90 minute decider, to give one country access to a prestigious tournament, between the team that was good enough to win an entire tournament this season and between the team who were good enough to win that same tournament, two years ago.
To recap, CONCACAF used to host a meaningless tournament every four years (e.g. the 2013 CONCACAF Cup) which used to be treated as meaningless by teams because it coincided with the Confederations Cup and didn’t grant them admission to that cup. So, to fix that problem, CONCACAF didn’t get rid of the meaningless tournament, they made it meaningful by making the winning of that tournament admission to a once-every-four-year-one-time-playoff. This one match was contrived to ensure that an entire tournament is meaningful.
As I said, when it comes to FIFA, our cups truly runneth over.
And just when you thought that this whole FIFA sideshow couldn’t get any dumber, Fox Soccer said “OH YEAH? Look at how dumb we can get! We can win the Dipshit World Cup!” and they released a “Trump Pump” video to get USA soccer fans “pumped up” for the USA v. Mexico CONCACAF Gold Cup above.
The video features cuts from Donald Trump’s speeches which talk about how hard working an great America is and can be again (if we elect Trump). The problem with this whole thing is that Trump said some fucking racist shit about Mexicans. I tried to think of a better way to put that but there isn’t one. This is a man who said,
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
The Mexican television station Azteca pulled quotes from that racist ass speech and put them into a commercial featuring Trump talking about how “American doesn’t win anymore” and ending with “the American dream is dead”.
I actually don’t have a problem with the Mexican television station using Trump in their ad. They are using Donald Trump’s racist speech against him, mocking him, and mocking America for keeping this racist in the polls.
But what Fox Soccer Channel did next was very strange. They clipped together a bunch of Trump quotes glorifying America and ending with “we will make America great again” in order to promote their coverage of the same game. Instead of mocking Trump, a man who deserves derision for making racist comments about Mexicans, Fox threw their hat in the ring with the racist to promote their match.
I’d say it’s astonishing but really, this is Fox Soccer we are talking about here.
The only thing that is actually astonishing is that the tweet and video still exists. As soon as I saw the video I figured someone would delete the tweet, that an apology would be issued, and that an intern would be thrown under the bus. But apparently, Fox Soccer channel has no shame.
Luckily the match is available live on Mexican television y yo hablo Español, un poco.
¿Como se dice “Trump and Fox Soccer are wankers” en Español?
“Trump y Fox Soccer son gilipollas¹” works.
¹In Spain. Not sure abut Mexico. Pendejos?