Monday, November 29, 1999

FA chairman makes bribery claim against Spain - reports

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The Football Association was making no immediate comment on Sunday over a newspaper's claim that it has a recording of its chairman making allegations against rivals countries bidding for the 2018 World Cup.The Mail on Sunday published contents of what it said was a secretly taped conversation between David Triesman and a former aide from his time as a government minister in which he appears to suggest Spain was seeking to bribe referees at next month's World Cup.Triesman, who is leading England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup, is quoted by the newspaper as saying Russia could help Spain bribe referees in return for Spain withdrawing its own bid to host the tournament.The Mail on Sunday claims that the FA failed in its attempt to get a High Court injunction preventing publication of the embarrassing revelations.The FA was not commenting on the story which also contained Triesman's views on Chelsea's John Terry who lost the England captaincy after tabloid revelations about his private life.In extracts of the conversation published in the Mail on Sunday, the 66-year-old Triesman is quoted as saying that Russia would help Spain bribe match officials in South Africa next month in return for a free run at the 2018 World Cup for which they are also bidding."I think the Africans we are doing very well with. I think we're doing kind of well with some of the Asians. Probably doing well with Central and North America," Triesman, who joined David Beckham at FIFA headquarters in Zurich last week to hand over England's 2018 bid book."My assumption is that the Latin Americans, although they've not said so, will vote for Spain. And if Spain drop out, because Spain are looking for help from the Russians to help bribe the referees in the World Cup, their votes may then switch to Russia."As well as England, Russia and the joint bid from Spain and Portugal, FIFA has received bids from Australia, the United States and Belgium-Netherlands to stage the 2018 World Cup.(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Jon Bramley)To query or comment on this story email
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