May 17, 2010 9:40:25 am
English soccer has never been short of scandals,but this one might cost the country a chance to host the World Cup.
The latest in a series of resignations from The Football Association could prove the most damaging with chairman David Triesman’s downfall leaving England’s 2018 World Cup bid in turmoil.
Triesman was felled by a tabloid sting – not the first to beset the scandal-plagued power base of English football – that used a honey trap operation to entrap the former government minister.
Triesman was caught on tape accusing 2018 bid rivals Spain and Russia of conspiring to bribe referees at this year’s World Cup,an indiscretion that will prove hard for the 24 FIFA voters to forget ahead of the December vote.
A former civil service aide,who claims to have had a relationship with the married Triesman,secretly recorded their conversations in a restaurant two weeks ago for The Mail on Sunday.
The English bid team will now try to rebuild its tarnished reputation while searching for a new leader in circumstances all too familiar for FA officials.
Chief executive Mark Palios was forced to resign in 2004 after becoming embroiled in a sex scandal that also involved coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Both had an affair with an FA secretary,Faria Alam,which was exposed in the tabloids. While Eriksson survived,Palios was forced to quit after it emerged that FA officials attempted to protect him at the expense of the Swede.
Eriksson’s love life first hit the headlines in April 2002,when tabloids revealed he had an affair with Swedish-born television celebrity Ulrika Jonsson while in a long-term relationship with Italian lawyer Nancy Dell’Olio.
Brian Barwick left as chief executive at the end of 2008 after disagreements with Triesman over the scope of his role.
Adam Crozier resigned in 2002 amid criticism the CEO had turned English football’s governing body into a one-man show as he tried to push through marketing plans and changes to the structure of the national game.
Graham Kelly was forced out as CEO in 1998 after suggestions his chairman had promised a loan to the Welsh Football Association in order to gain a high-ranking FIFA position. And replacing Triesman will not be The FA’s only job – the search for a fifth CEO in 10 years is on after Ian Watmore quit in March following a power struggle.
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