Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just The Ticket

A latest reminder of the corruption endemic within FIFA; the vice-president of the world football federation, Jack Warner of Trinidad & Tobago has been rumbled by an Ernst & Young report that says he made £500,000 on World Cup tickets sold illegally at more than three times their face value. The fool bought 180 tickets on his credit card and got his son to pick them up from FIFA HQ. When a Swiss travel agency complained about the non-arrival of tickets they had bought, the inquiry naturally found its way back to Warner.

There are free-marketeers that will say that there is nothing to get flustered about here, that the market should decide the value of World Cup final tickets as much as any other commodity. Aside from the most obvious facetiousness of such an idea, the issue of Warner's privileged position and his use of it to break his own organisation's laws make it a serious incident. It will be interesting to see if FIFA will do what any self-respecting organisation would do: sack the miscreant and then prosecute him with the full force of the law. But, that might be unlikely. In the meantime Warner had this to say about match referees in yesterday's Trinidad Express:"Some of our referees have been mercenaries. Most times all they are concerned with is how much the can earn for officiating the game; they care very little about their performance on the field." I wonder what the Caribbean equivalent of chutzpah is.