So on Tuesday we provided a link on Twitter to a letter written by Mohammed Bin Hammam to Petreus Damaseb, the Caribbean official charged with heading up the ethics committee reviewing MBH’s appeal against his life ban from working in football. Despite failing to make any kind of ripple in the Western news media, the letter contained some pretty serious allegations. MBH was essentially asking Mr. Damaseb to speak out on a number of issues, suggesting that “…if your conscience is on vacation” then call the travel agent, get the hotel’s phone number and book the first flight back to Nyon. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Mr. Damaseb has instead chosen to buy his conscience another strawberry Daiquiri and maybe do a couple of lengths in the infinity pool. But why does MBH believe that Mr. Damaseb has allowed this mental vacation in the first place? The reasons are threefold - he believes Damaseb was installed as ethics committee deputy chairman and given the job of running MBH’s case to be a puppet to Jerome Valcke and Sepp Blatter’s desires, given that there was already a Swiss chairman of the committee who according to MBH would not have allowed Blatter and Valcke to affect his judgement. Secondly, MBH made the salient point that no one on earth would believe that Blatter and Valcke were in a position to judge corruption. Thirdly, perhaps most interestingly, MBH questioned whether Damaseb had seen the letter sent by Valcke to the Caribbean football authority, in which he essentially demanded that members admitted to receiving bribes from MBH or face the severest punishment. Now all of this could sound like the pleas of a desperate man, banged to rights for bribing colleagues to vote for his candidacy for President (remember that?) and now trying to regain some level of credibility. Perhaps that’s what it is. But there is no doubting that this letter provides an insight into the murky workings of FIFA, even in a department supposedly created to assess the ethics of its members. There is no doubting that Bin Hammam is a long way from smelling of roses himself, but the allegations contained in this letter go a long way to making sense of the strange appointment of Damaseb ahead of his Swiss counterpart on the ethics committee. Damaseb has no background in this kind of investigation. But then what was to be expected from the organisation who appointed Placido Domingo to aid their review? Either way, MBH will not go away and he appears to be willing to dish the dirt on his former superiors. We at UG, oftentimes detractors of MBH, this time give him our full backing. It was always going to take an insider to bring down FIFA, given the nature of football’s ruling class, that insider was always going to be corrupt. It feels wrong but here it is: keep it coming Mohammed! You go girl! The letter by the way, is here http://www.mohamedbinhammam.com/en/Blog/blog.php?page=1&menuNum=31 UG.
We haven’t done a video of the week for a while, but then again, sometimes something comes around that you just cannot afford to let slip away unnoticed. It isn’t the bizarre, Goodfellas-esque single 1 minute and fifteen second shot that makes this video - but City’s Chief Executive of Embarrassment, Gary Cook.
Look at how he greets young Samir, as if they’re just about to get down to some street football in a dirty Parisian car park, or cut up a kilo of Moroccan hash together. His hideous “How are you, brother?” made us at UG cringe so hard we developed the wrinkled forehead of a 126 year old philosopher.
Aside from the cloying and horrible choice of phrase from Cook, you’ve got to respect the quality of his ghetto-shake. He’s got the slap, crunch and twist down to a tee to be fair. Maybe that’s how they did it at Nike back in the day…
Now, now, now.
We at UG are the first to condemn any kind of prejudice - we don’t and won’t ever accept it. But upon hearing Hassan Al-Thawadi’s claims of anti-Arab prejudice being the base of the corruption allegations against the Qatar 2022 bid, we began to notice a pattern.
We’re sure you think you know where this is going - you may well have already written the rest of this article in your head. It probably goes something like this: “Wow, this is about to get incredibly racist. There was me, all this time thinking Unbeautiful Game was an upstanding, moral blog on the subject of football and all its dirty dealings and now look at me. I’m sitting here reading racist drivel.”
Well we’re going to let you down - because what we’ve discovered does not abide by colour or creed. What we have discovered is far more significant than that. It is a basic facet which runs throughout every photo of a corrupt human being, no matter where they are from, what they believe in, or what designer suit they slip on every morning before drinking their bullion and White Tiger blood smoothie. The question on everybody’s lips of course: what is that facet?
So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce
"THE WRY SMILE OF CORRUPTION." (please click the names to see the evidence)
Ahhhh, Jack. A favourite of ours at UG. Just look at that grin, the first shining example of THE WRY SMILE OF CORRUPTION in all its glory. If he uncurls his lip, coins fall out.
Wow. Look at that classic from Jerome, bringing in the praying hands as well. Some who use the WSoC choose to detract from it slightly with some kind of gesture, so’s not to arouse suspicion - Jerome is showing us a vintage sanctimonious ‘prayer hands’ here, making us think he’s all holy and whatnot, rather than a money grabbing little scumbag.
Here’s old Nicolas with one of his favourite things, the Copa America. He loves it so dearly, over the years the cup has treated his bank balance like it were its brother. So no surprise then, given that Leoz is also up to his eyeballs in sweaty, stinking, cloying corruption, he’s employing a vintage WSoC and hand gesture combo too.
So you thought Leoz was good? Observe, the master smiler at work. His face says “I have to smile like this, ha, its my job.” But his hand says “Back away, if you investigate me any further you’ll be forced to make a ‘retraction.’ Yeah. Like this one. With its own website.” This is another classic WSoC, lulling us into a false sense of security with all those teeth and shiny eyes, whilst simulataneously sending a subliminal message through the hand signal. Genius.
Oh me oh my. Get a load of those gnashers. Those teeth are so white they could only have been paid for with dirty money. If you look deep into his eyes, you can also just catch a sense of MbH’s “I could have you killed within 5 minutes” vibe. An iconic WSoC.
Of course, Hassan, chief labeller of prejudice. Not too bad at the old WSoC either is he? Are we anti-Arab? No chance. Anti-blatant, steaming, evidenced corruption, yes.
For those of you who remain dubious, who might look at this study and say “Well they’ve not found an English WSoC, it’s just more sour grapes.” Well here he is…
Of course if you haven’t had your fill of WSoCs from this, you can always just type ‘FIFA Delegates’ into Google images. THERE ARE HUNDREDS.