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Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 15:34 UK

Fifa demands swift review of Lord Triesman comments

Lord Triesman, Fifa president Sepp Blatter, former England captain David Beckham
Triesman resigned just two days after England presented their 2018 bid book

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke has urged a swift investigation on Lord Triesman's alleged bribery accusations.

Triesman stepped down as England's 2018 World Cup bid chairman after reportedly accusing Spanish and Russian football federations of conspiring in bribery.

"I want something decided before the World Cup," said Valcke.

"It's good it's happening 20 days prior to the World Cup so it gives us time to make sure that all of this is wrong and that they are crazy allegations."

Football's world governing body Fifa has requested its ethics committee to investigate the matter.

"We are looking at the content of the allegations because it was about the World Cup and the bids, and also on Lord Triesman and the way he made these statements," said Valcke.

"The most important thing is to have a clear overview of what was said before the beginning of the World Cup."

Triesman was caught up in a tabloid sting suggesting Spain could drop its bid if rival bidder Russia helped bribe referees at this summer's World Cup.

Fifa has also written to the Football Associaton asking for a report on the Triesman case.

The FA has vowed to co-operate fully with Fifa, whose rules prohibit bidders from commenting on rival campaigns.


The FA's acting chief executive Alex Horne responded: "It's important that we can demonstrate to Fifa and the rest of the world at this time that we are serious about our bid for World Cup 2018. The gossip and the nonsense doesn't matter."

Triesman also quit his role as FA chairman after he was secretly recorded allegedly divulging sensitive information to a former aide.

The allegations included a claim that Spain and Russia, rival bidders for the 2018 World Cup, were conspiring to bribe referees at next month's finals in South Africa as part of efforts to win the right to host the tournament.

The former Labour peer, who also resigned from his post as chairman of the FA, accused the Mail on Sunday newspaper of engaging in "entrapment" tactics in order to cause him personal embarrassment.

"In that conversation I commentated on speculation circulating about conspiracies around the world," said Triesman.

"Those comments were never intended to be taken seriously as indeed is the case with many private conversations."

The FA has apologised for Triesman's claims to the Spanish and Russian governing bodies, with copies of the letter obtained by a number of news agencies.

"England 2018 unreservedly apologises for these comments, for any suggestions of any improper behaviour on the part of any members of the Russian football family, our fellow bidders and for any express or implied criticism of the Russian Football Federation or of Fifa," part of the letter read.

"The comments reported to have been made by Lord Triesman in no way represent the views of England 2018, any employee, director, ambassador, consultant or adviser to the bid.

Damage to World Cup bid 'not fatal'

"England 2018 bitterly regrets any damage to the integrity of the Russian football family, Fifa or any of its member associations caused by these comments. We are available to discuss this matter at your convenience."

Before Triesman's unwanted spell in the headlines, England's 2018 World Cup candidacy was generally viewed as having a good chance of success.

But the bid team now faces an uphill task to persuade Fifa's executive to award England the event for the first time since 1966.

The revelations came only two days after the FA delegation submitted its 1,752-page bid book to Fifa.

A European bid is tipped to get the 2018 tournament with England up against Russia and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands.

The other bidders, although they are mainly focused on the 2022 tournament, are Australia, the United States, Japan, Qatar and South Korea.

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see also
Sugar eager for FA chairman post
17 May 10 |  Football
Gill and Parry backed for FA role
17 May 10 |  Football
Thompson named 2018 bid chairman
17 May 10 |  Football
Triesman quits FA & 2018 Cup jobs
16 May 10 |  Football
World Cup bids head-to-head
17 Oct 10 |  Football
Beckham hands over 2018 Cup bid
14 May 10 |  Football

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