Last week we took a look at the dramatic FIFA intervention in the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA) in our piece www.fifacolonialism.com/fifa-sending-very-dangerous-signals-to-caf-concacaf/ , a geographical territory that falls in the “development” docket and ambit of Veron Mosengo-Omba, the FIFA Chief Associations Officer.
Obviously Mosengo-Omba remains a character viewed with a lot of suspicion and mistrust within the fabric of FIFA, and the person to most walk on eggshells around.
The reason for this is that this Congolese immigrant was classmates with FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the University where the both of them studied law.
The ascension of Infantino to the throne of FIFA had him appoint Mosengo-Omba to manage the affairs of the vote-critical African and Caribbean Associations.
Initially touted as a Development officer for Africa and the Caribbean, it is now evident that FIFA has absolutely zero interest in the development of football in this region, underscored by the political choices made by FIFA in dealing with snow-balling crisis in the region.
In our earlier piece we postulated that the role of Mosengo-Omba is to keep the African and Caribbean vote locked for Infantino, to assure him of his continued stay at the helm of FIFA, and conversely, to maintain Mosengo-Omba in his vaunted position within FIFA.
We draw this inference from making an informed assessment at the crisis management modus operandi in the region, crises that are fomented by FIFA negligence in application of its Code of Ethics which has granted the FA Presidents and Confederation mandarins in this region, carte blanche to steal FIFA, CONCACAF and CAF development funds with impunity.
One illustration of FIFA and Infantino double-speak is the tragic case of CAF President Ahmad Ahmad, arrested in Paris by the French police of the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption and Financial and Fiscal Crimes (OCLCIFF) and which Prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said was part of a probe into corruption, breach of trust and forgery.
FIFA coyly pleaded with the OCLCIFF to provide it any evidence that it could use to develop a case against Ahmad in the FIFA Ethics committee, and that was about all it did.
At the same time, FIFA had received a credible dossier from the late former CAF GS Amr Fahmy detailing theft, corruption and even the sexual harassment and assault of female staff and outside contractors.
FIFA did absolutely nothing, except send its SG Mme. Fatma Samoura for a 6-month extended holiday in Africa where her only notable contribution was to commission an audit by the Swiss office of global audit firm PWC.
But even with this incontrovertible evidence from a credible audit process that CAF mandarins have stolen upto $24 million in just under 3 years, FIFA continues to twiddle its thumbs, sending them (CAF mandarins) the silent message that, “don’t worry boys, we’ve got you” (wink, wink)!
However, this dalliance with African and Caribbean football associations was always going to run into headwinds, because the numerical strength afforded Infantino by these Confederations apparently went to his head, and caused him to unilaterally propose some of the most radical (and detrimental) proposals to the existing football order, effectively targeting the money-making potential for key moving parts of the football body.
Even with the reality that African and Caribbean FAs contribute very little to the global development of the game, Gianni Infantino continues to use them to buttress proposals that have a direct economic impact on serious football development matters, forcing powerhouses UEFA and CONMEBOL to take a step back and secure their interests before Infantino kills football for good.
Even the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), whose President Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa was brutally double-crossed by the African Confederation (CAF) at the FIFA Presidential elections of 2016, has recently joined the big leagues by signing a $4 billion, 8-year commercial deal with a Chinese firm.
This deal is sans the MENA region whose broadcast rights would be sold separately, almost certainly getting AFC another huge injection of funds.
The confluence of these two factors appears to have aligned AFC interests with those of UEFA and CONMEBOL and especially the perception that Africa and Caribbean FAs represent an existential threat to their continued growth and prosperity, while in the hands of despotic and psychotic Gianni Infantino.
It is an open secret that UEFA, CONMEBOL and to a larger extent AFC apparently planned to pass a vote of no-confidence on Infantino last month, and when this was leaked to him, he hastily cancelled the planned FIFA Council meeting citing the COVID-19 threat.
The scenario will not change as long as Infantino continues to use African and Caribbean FA votes as the battering ram to the fabric of football in the World, without regard for, and/or consultation with key stakeholders. FIFA should be prepared to face its own existential threats in the coming days.
One example of how this could pan out was the proposal by the UEFA/CONMEBOL bloc to boycott the reinvigorated FIFA Club World Cup, which was initially to take place in China 2021, but the two giant Confederations had expressed interest instead in participating in the International Champions Cup, an American set of friendlies in the summer months, completely ignoring the CWC.
Will FIFA, Gianni Infantino and Veron Mosengo-Omba desist from the preferential treatment of African and Caribbean FA Presidents, where they trade fealty and votes for unlimited amnesty?
Nothing brings this scenario home than the series of unfortunate events currently taking place in the TTFA, where FIFA has now installed a Normalization committee (NC) to manage the affairs of the FA for upto 24 months.
TTFA had absolutely no need for a NC considering the fact that it went to elections last November (4 months ago) and duly elected a legitimate executive committee.
Two things however, seem to have irked both Infantino and Mosengo-Omba about the new office.
The first is that the elections saw the ejection of the former TTFA President David John-Williams (known simply as DJW) who was a staunch ally, supporter, praise-singer and bootlicker of Infantino during his stab at the FIFA Presidency in 2016.
Infantino brazenly threw his weight behind DJW duing the campaigns but still the delegates of the TTFA threw him out in favor of William Wallace. Thats just how much the Swiss-Italian conman is resented around the world.
The 2nd irksome thing for Infantino is that in the interim, a lot of audits have been going on in the TTFA and CONCACAF, which seemed to show that DJW had overseen the massive looting of the TTFA.
A FIFA press release at the time, stated “(A joint FIFA-CONCACAF) mission found that the overall condition of financial management and financial governance is extremely low or non-existent at the TTFA!”
The report continues, “there are currently no formal internal policies and internal controls in place, such as procurement, delegation of financial authority, financial planning and budgeting, effective oversight of funding and management reporting, which are necessary to meet TTFA objectives.
The only credible reason why Infantino would (again) unilaterally disband a duly elected TTFA executive committee and replace it with a hand-picked NC would be to shelter DJW from being fingered by the audits, which could have serious ramifications for him now and in future.
An Infantino NC would lay the groundwork for the return of DJW in the next election after 24-months, with a disruption of the voters at the Electoral College to ensure that only DJW-compliant delegates get to cast their vote.
You would be forgiven for thinking that this scenario is taking place in 1918 during the time of the devastating Spanish Flu, but alas, this is 2020 with FIFA under a 49-year old Infantino (younger guys are thought to be progressive, puh!) in the unprecedented times of the COVID-19!
FIFA and Infantino continue to confound the World with its choices as just the previous week, Mosengo-Omba had placed the TTFA in the hands of the same Finance manager who had overseen the financial rot and mismanagement, and who had been named specifically for his role in it by the joint FIFA-CONCACAF mission in their report, a man by the name Tyril Patrick.
We can understand that Infantino is desperate to find a numerical anti-thesis to that of the combined UEFA-CONMEBOL-AFC grouping lest they engineer a coup on him at any time.
The danger with such a grouping is that should they be unable to reach a compromise with Infantino, or eject him from the FIFA Presidency, they can very well choose to swallow a poison pill, effectively bringing an end to FIFA as we know it today.
Then everybody else is royally screwed!
It is the actions being taken in Africa and the Caribbean by Infantino through his lackey Mosengo-Omba, in these days of lightning fast transmission of information that continue to undermine the perception of Infantino as a progressive, reasonable, mature and grounded leader.
Emotional decisions like the one to punish the TTFA for ejecting Infantino loyalist DJW by disbanding a duly elected executive, and replacing it with a NC mirrors the action in Africa where FIFA banned Liberian Musa Hassan Bility for 10 years for his opposition to the hostile takeover of CAF by FIFA last July.
One thing is certain, the tag-team of the desperate Infantino and the bumbling Veron Mosengo-omba represent perfectly Africa’s and the Caribbean’s “perpetual night”.