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Context of '(May 2, 2010): English Football Official Privately Makes Allegations of Corruption, Collusion'

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Lord Triesman, the chairman of the English FA and 2018 World Cup bid, makes several allegations about corruption and bad practice in football over lunch with a former lover. The woman, Melissa Jacobs, records the conversation and will later provide it to the Mail on Sunday for publication. Triesman, a former government minister and member of the House of Lords, says that there is “some evidence” Spain and Russia may collude over the forthcoming World Cup in South Africa and their bids to host the 2018 event—according to him, in return for Russia helping bribe referees in the current tournament, Spain will withdraw its offer to host the later tournament, leaving the way clear for Russia to win. Triesman also claims that one Latin American football administrator wants an honorary knighthood from the Queen in order to vote for England. In addition, Triesman is dismissive of the Premier League’s fit and proper persons test for club owners, pointing out that, given the way it is designed, notorious Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugage would pass the test, whereas Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela would not. (Gallagher 5/17/2011) After the Mail on Sunday publishes the allegations, Triesman will resign from both his positions (see May 16, 2010).

Lord Triesman resigns from his positions as chairman of the Football Association and the 2018 England World Cup bid following the publication by the Mail on Sunday of allegations of corruption he made privately (see (May 2, 2010)). The allegations were made over lunch with a former lover, Melissa Jacobs, who recorded the conversation and then provided it to the Mail. Most explosively, Triesman suggested Spain might drop its bid to host the 2018 World Cup if Russia helped ensure referees were favorable to it at the 2010 World Cup. This would leave the way clearer for Russia to host the 2018 event. “A private conversation with someone whom I thought to be a friend was taped without my knowledge and passed to a national newspaper,” says Triesman in a statement. “That same friend has also chosen to greatly exaggerate the extent of our friendship. In that conversation I commentated on speculation circulating about conspiracies around the world. Those comments were never intended to be taken seriously, as indeed is the case with many private conversations. Entrapment, especially by a friend, is an unpleasant experience both for my family and me but it leaves me with no alternative but to resign.” (BBC 5/16/2010)

The South American Football Confederation, Comnebol, decides that the three representatives of its members on FIFA’s executive committee will vote for the Spain/Portugal bid to host the 2018 World Cup. (Guardian 11/24/2010) The three representatives are Julio Grondona (Argentina), Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil), and Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay). (BBC 12/2/2010)

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