Chuck Blazer -- general secretary of CONCACAF and FIFA executive committee member -- has been a fixture here at Some Canadian Guys for a while. Partially because it's nice to have a name to fall back on when we tire of complaining about Jack Warner's corruption, but mostly because the personal travel blog of a globetrotting St. Nick lookalike with a large collection of suspenders provides plenty of comedic fodder (as you can see).
But ol' Chuck gets the attention today for a much more important reason: It seems he's willing to rock Sepp Blatter's boat, an unthinkable act for anyone looking to retain a position of influence within FIFA. Blazer's bugaboo, as you can imagine, is the failure of his executive committee brethren to gift CONCACAF with an additional half-spot in the 2014 World Cup -- which, as Rollins notes, was considered a "done deal" by some CONCACAF members prior to Thursday's announcement that the number of spots per confederation would be kept as is.
"Really not happy with today's FIFA Exco meeting," Blazer tweeted on Thursday. "Everyone protects their own interests rather than doing what's right. Convenient decisions."
That tweet seems to have lit the Twitter fire under Blazer's ass, as he has (as of this writing) sent out 18 more tweets since that one, representing more than 10% of the total tweets he's sent out in the nearly two years he's been using the service. And he's not shying away from his original comments; he's tweeted a link to a story published online about his disapproval with the ExCo's decision and -- in clear defiance of FIFA's presumed "don't ever say anything to anyone" policy -- he's actually been interacting with fans concerning his original remarks.
@chuckblazer: Really not happy with today's FIFA Exco meeting. Everyone protects their own interests rather than doing what's right. Convenient decisions.
@constantlyoff: probably cuz our reps didnt push hard enough to get a world cup. they spent too much time taking pics for their blog.
@constantlyoff: oh goodness this is awesome. very professional and def who I want negotiating high level FIFA politics
OK, so maybe Blazer needs some social media training. But suffice to say, he's less than thrilled with the way things have unfolded as of late. Despite suggestions to the contrary, Blazer firmly asserts that he voted for the USA's bid to host the 2022 World Cup -- and surely couldn't have been pleased when Qatar got the tournament. Now we've got his clear dissatisfaction with the World Cup spot allocation. And there's a quote I found in an interview he did with the New York Times back in December:
It's long been believed that Blatter and Warner have a comfortable mutual-back-scratching agreement in place: Blatter does nice things for CONCACAF (or Jack's family, whatever, same thing, right?) in exchange for Warner promising Blatter the support of the 35 CONCACAF member nations when it comes time for a presidential re-election.[FIFA president Sepp Blatter], in his role as president, tries to satisfy all the constituencies around the world. As we look forward to the FIFA election in 2015, we have started to see some new alignments, which I feel uncomfortable about.
But if Blatter's gone (as early as this year, if the challenge from Qatar's Mohammed Bin Hammam turns out to be a serious one), that alleged relationship disappears -- as does, perhaps, Blazer's ability to collect pretty pictures for his blog on the world soccer community's dime.
No one knows for sure where this is heading. But if Grant Wahl really is serious about his run for the FIFA presidency, then he may wanna reach out to a fellow American with a wealth of insider knowledge... and a bone to pick.