A bit of a scandal has broken out over the news that Lord Triesman, chairman of England’s 2018 World Cup bid, has resigned from his position, after a tape leaked out revealing a very controversial conversation he had with a former aide.

Apparently, Triesman heard of a match-fixing deal between Spain and Russia, in which the Russians would help the Spanish bribe referees in their favor at the World Cup. Spain are alleged to possess a list with each official that will be participating in the competition, and want to make sure they do well in it by whatever means necessary. In exchange, Spain have promised to drop their big for hosting the World Cup in 2018, and Lord Triesman’s remarks suggest that the Latin nations will then be convinced to vote for Russia instead of England.

The English FA were quick to send out apologies to Spain, Russia and FIFA, and tried to distance themselves as much as possible from these tapes. The chairman’s resignation was immediately accepted, though this story won’t disappear so easily.

You’d hope that this was all a bunch of nonsense and Triesman didn’t know what he was talking about…but nonetheless, you have to wonder where such a highly respected official got this information from, which sounds quite specific. In any case, I think it’s best for FAs to stay far away from referees before the start of such important competitions. There should be as little contact and as influence as possible.


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