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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
FA clears Eriksson
Will Sven-Goran Eriksson survive as England coach?
Sven-Goran Eriksson remains as England coach after the Football Association decided he had no case to answer over his affair with secretary Faria Alam.

The FA has accepted the resignation of its director of communications Colin Gibson, while Alam has also resigned her post.

No mention was made of the future of under-pressure chairman Geoff Thompson or acting chief executive David Davies.

Eriksson always denied misleading the FA over his affair with Alam.

The coach was not in attendance at the meeting, which lasted just under six hours and took place at the Leonard Hotel in central London.

This entire episode has been regrettable for the reputation of football in this country
FA statement
Afterwards a statement released on the FA website read: "In the case of Sven-Goran Eriksson, the board decided on the basis of the report and on legal advice that there is no case for him to answer.

"In the case of Faria Alam, an employee without executive status within the FA, the board has decided it is not appropriate to make any public statement with regard to her role in this inquiry."

Eriksson's agent Athole Still said that his client was pleased with the decision.

"I called Sven immediately after hearing the news and he was going out for dinner with England assistant coach Tord Grip," said Still.

"He just said 'good', with a nice chuckle. He is obviously very pleased and relieved.

"He is looking forward to carrying on with his job."

PR guru Max Clifford is now looking after Alam and he confirmed she has tendered a letter of resignation.

"She just felt her position was impossible and there was no way she could go back in the circumstances," said Clifford.

The FA admitted mistakes had been made and resolved to ensure they do not happen again in the future.

Geoff Thompson leaves the Leonard hotel in central London.
Geoff Thompson remains FA chairman after Thursday's meeting
The statement continued: "This entire episode has been regrettable for the reputation of football in this country but the board remain determined to restore the highest standards.

"Deficiencies surrounding management procedures have been exposed and the board is collectively resolved to see these corrected."

The board, which comprised of chairman Thompson and a further 11 members, heard evidence from solicitor Peter Norbury, who had interviewed both Eriksson and Alam.

Norbury was asked by the FA to investigate the way the governing body initially issued a statement denying an affair between Eriksson and Alam, only to be forced into an embarrassing U-turn just a few days later.

No comment was made on Davies, who is acting chief executive following the resignation of Mark Palios last Sunday.

Palios' departure came after claims the FA tried to keep his affair with Alam quiet by offering details of Eriksson's links with the same woman.

Gibson, alleged to be the man who tried to make that deal with the News of the World newspaper, has had his resignation accepted.

The FA statement read: "The FA wishes to thank him for his services during his time as Director of Communications."

Eriksson has been England coach since January 2001 and this year signed a new contract that runs until 2008.




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VOTE RESULTS
Do you trust the FA to run English football properly?
Yes - this is just a storm in a teacup
12%
No - they are bungling bosses
60%
Don't care - as long as the England team are successful
28%
64107 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed


SEE ALSO
FA row woman resigns
05 Aug 04  |  UK News
FA starts inquiry
06 Aug 04  |  Internationals
Palios resigns from FA
02 Aug 04  |  Football
FA confirms England coach affair
25 Jul 04  |  UK News


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