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Lord Triesman to leave England 2018 World Cup bid role

Triesman was in Zurich on Friday when England's 2018 bid was presented

Lord Triesman is to stand down as chairman of the England 2018 World Cup bid, BBC Sport understands.

However he is not leaving his role as chairman of the Football Association.

Triesman acted after the Mail on Sunday said he suggested Spain could end its bid if rival bidder Russia helped bribe referees at this summer's World Cup.

The 2018 team has already faxed apology letters to the Russian and Spanish FAs and the bid is undertaking a "major damage limitation exercise".

The Mail on Sunday claims to have obtained a secretly tape-recorded conversation of Triesman talking to a former aide.

The revelations come just two days after former England captain David Beckham helped the FA submit a 1,752-page bid book as they try to persuade Fifa to award England the 2018 World Cup.

Speaking about Triesman's decision to step down, new Sports Minister Hugh Robertson told the BBC: "It is absolutely the right decision to take.

"Our top priority as a new government is to win this bid for the country and I am delighted they have acted as quickly and decisively as they have done.

"All is not lost, we would rather we weren't dealing with the situation but it is better that it has happened now, so soon after handing over the bid book, rather than two three months out.

"It is not good for the organisation and it would be ludicrous to pretend otherwise but the fundamentals that underpin the bid are as strong as ever and will be remembered long after this unfortunate event is forgotten."

The FA has so far refused to comment.

Apart from the damage to the standing of Triesman and the FA that may be created within the Fifa corridors of power by the Mail on Sunday's reported bribery allegation, the world governing body's rules prohibit World Cup bidders from talking about rival bids.

Triesman was quoted in the article as saying: "Spain are looking for help...to bribe the referees".

And BBC Radio 5 live's sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar said: "The FA did try and fail to get an injunction against publication of the story on privacy grounds.

"The story makes uncomfortable reading. The FA and 2018 bid chairman was seemingly unaware his unguarded comments in a private conversation were being recorded.

"Most damaging is his apparent speculation about possible collusion between Spain and Russia to bribe referees in South Africa.

"He reportedly suggests in return for Russian help in targeting officials, Spain could drop out of the race to stage the 2018 World Cup.


So where does this leave the 2018 bid? In short, they are going to find it incredibly difficult to recover from this

"There's likely to be a furious reaction from both the Spanish and Russian FAs."

On Friday, Fifa chief Sepp Blatter spoke in glowing terms of England's 2018 bid which includes 12 towns and cities from Sunderland to Plymouth, calling it "the easiest bid in the world" - but also described the plans put forward by Russia as "remarkable".

After the good publicity that was generated by the 2018 team and Beckham on Friday it remains to be seen what effect Triesman's reported comments are likely to have on the FA's 2018 bid.

From its inception the bid has been troubled by infighting with senior members resigning from the board while Triesman's leadership has also been questioned.

In October the 2018 bid was criticised by Fifa vice-president Jack Warner and Danny Jordaan, who led South Africa's successful 2010 campaign.

A month later former Birmingham City director Karren Brady, who was one of six board members to stand down, said that England's hopes of hosting the 2018 World Cup were in danger of being undermined by internal politics among the bid team.

David Beckham hands Sepp Blatter the England 2018 World Cup bid book

In November a senior member of Fifa's executive committee returned a handbag given to his wife as a gift by the England bidding team.

The latest story was taken from a conversation Triesman reportedly had with a former civil servant aide.

The Mail on Sunday quotes Triesman as saying: "There's some evidence that the Spanish football authorities are trying to identify the referees...and pay them.

"My assumption is that the Latin Americans, although they've not said so, will vote for Spain. And if Spain drop out, because Spain are looking for help from the Russians to help bribe the referees in the World Cup, their votes may then switch to Russia."

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.

In the reported tape recorded conversation with former aide Melissa Jacobs, Triesman also talks openly about the John Terry scandal, the governance of Premier League football clubs and criticises former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's election campaign as "awful."

Triesman reportedly said ex-England captain Terry did not feel he had done anything wrong over his affair with former club and country team-mate Wayne Bridge's former partner, Vanessa Perroncel.

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Usa 2018!

Blatter has clearly indicated that 2018 is going to Europe, all the other candidates including the USA are really in the running for 2022.

My prediction is Russia in 2018 and the USA in 2022 (both awarded in December this year). In 5 or 6 years, my bet is that China will be awarded 2026.

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Russia is not going to get it. If you look at all the supporters problems with SA...Fifa would be stupid to organise another event where no one will want to go to. Russia is probably worse than SA.

I may be biased but I think after the England screw up ''we'' will get it > Holland/Belgium. We had a good presentation last week in Switzerland with Ruud Gullit, Johan Cruyff, Paul van Himst, Michel Preud'homme and loads of other players/executives of organisations arrived on a bike and we have succesfully hosted Euro 2000. Only England had a former football player present in Beckham and all the other nations came up in their big limo's and crap executives.

There will be 2 million! free bikes available for fans coming to the WC and travelling is 5 hours max from the far north of Holland to the far south of Belgium. Feyenoord will build a new stadium with a capacity of 85.000 to host the final.

Hup Holland Hup :)

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Honestly, all logic says that England should get the 2018 World Cup. Since they last hosted the tournament, every major European football nation has had a turn at hosting it, and Germany has had it twice. South America will have just had it in 2014. It's clear that it will be a European host.

Russia may have major financial backing, but has lots of baggage with crime, corruption, and periodic border wars with wantaway republics. It will also probably have to do a lot of stadium construction/renovation. Spain/Portugal would be a good host, drawing lots of visitors and even filling some of Portugal's post-Euro '04 white elephants for a few dates. None of the competing bids make as much sense as England, though, when considering all factors.

England has both the tourism and footballing infrastructure to put on a wonderful World Cup and has it on a scale that none of the others can match. The only thing preventing a landslide win for England in the World Cup bidding process is a long-standing hatred for the English forged through the seventies and eighties when football hooliganism was rampant. This feeling ignores both the today's realities and the fact that hooliganism was rife in many other countries at the time (and still ongoing today).

I read somewhere that the English FA provides the majority of the funds for the various FIFA development programs in the developing world. The English FA grovelled at the feet of the slime Warner, going to T&T to play a friendly. All of this is done with an eye to winning a World Cup bid that is by all rights theirs to lose. I worry that once FIFA spits in the English faces again this December, the FA will turn off the tap of funding for the various programs that Blatter claims as his own. When this happens who will lose out? Certainly not the useless twats at FIFA who will gorge themselves on the various bribes and enticements that will flow their way for channelling World Cup tournaments towards Russia and Qatar.

Hell, if England doesn't get the chance to host the World Cup again, how will they ever manage to get past the QFs?

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^ According to reports on the 'Teething Problems' Brazil is Having with it organization for 2014, FIFA have apprently let it slip (on the Quite) that they have a Plan B, (actually a plan B and C to be exact) Not that Brazil wont be able to get its act together on time, IMO It will; But the two stand-bys are socio-politically settled countries with comprehensive transport links and a network of existing stadia capable of hosting large scale soccer games with but a few weeks turn around.

Yep you guessed it, England and the USA.

If brazil did fail I would assume the USA would step in, as the Tourney would still be in the planned continental time zone. But it does show how much these two bids are 'technically' ahead of the oposition. Still FIFA is FIFA.

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^ According to reports on the 'Teething Problems' Brazil is Having with it organization for 2014, FIFA have apprently let it slip (on the Quite) that they have a Plan B, (actually a plan B and C to be exact) Not that Brazil wont be able to get its act together on time, IMO It will; But the two stand-bys are socio-politically settled countries with comprehensive transport links and a network of existing stadia capable of hosting large scale soccer games with but a few weeks turn around.

Yep you guessed it, England and the USA.

If brazil did fail I would assume the USA would step in, as the Tourney would still be in the planned continental time zone. But it does show how much these two bids are 'technically' ahead of the oposition. Still FIFA is FIFA.

But USA just hosted a World Cup recently plus soccer is like the 27th most popular sport. So I don't get your comment "FIFA is FIFA" as if the USA is easily the best option outside Europe.

I'm hoping for China or Australia in 2022.

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I agree. The USA asking again after only 20 years seems a tad greedy- thas probably why the USA bid is focusing on 2022.

But It's not to do with who's turn it is. If Brazil 2014 goes down the tubes then who's best placed to rescue the tournament and turn a buck for FIFA. To some extend its a standing order, Germany has been on the list for some time but droped off on this turn around because they 'Just hosted'. I beleive Spain may have been on the list at some point as well.

I agree about taking turns.

As for OZ hosting. I lived in South Australia for 12 months and followed Adelaide United to the ACL finals. I agree the Ausies could well putting on the a sucessful world cup. They have the cahunas to do it and the intrest is as strong as the USA, It would boost the A-league, though the Semi pro State leagues are healthy, not much money flying about, but the teams dont fold too often. (this is based on SA State Soccer, however). Adelaide would make a good host city so long as the don't use Footy (AAMI ) Park . Its a 45K seat oval, But the closest you'd get to the pitch from the existing seating is 16 meters! (and thats at the corner flag)

Hindmarsh (AU's home stadium) makes a great noise when its full, but full is only 15K. Too small for a WC bid, Its restrited geography makes it a big ask for major expansion, but I believe they might still be talks of a 45K seater on the Old Racecourse in the South East Parklands. (near the Clipsal 500 pits.)

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^ Sorry SCF08 but i don't think a good bid matters as much as money. As in, where can FIFA executives make money for themselves from bribes, kickbacks etc.? Russia will provide such an opportunity...

Thats my kind of thinking when it comes to all matters relating to FIFA. Or it will go to the country who is the chief power broker who will keep Blatter (or some other guy) in his current role. Hello African countries.

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Disturbing figures in this Time article from today about Brazil 2014. Even worse than South Africa at this stage, but Brazil does hve know-how to pull it off. The problem is political will. Like Canada, Brazil is a very decentralized country with powerful and meddlesome states that will interfere with efforts to force things through. It may depend on the result of the Presidential election in October this year, and how the new presidenit reacts (this, and maybe Brazils performance next month, may become an issue in this tight election).

FIFA had alternate plans for South Africa (2 years ago Blatter said he had made alternate arrangements with 3 other countries in case of South Africa problems, then a week latter tried to backpedal saying "there is no Plan B" when there clearly was), but South Africa was able to strongarm itself in the last 2 years.

If FIFA had the balls, it would take steps now to set quick deadlines, but they probably do not want to be seen to interfere with a major country like Brazil. Depending on what headaches they have in South Africa (especially security), they may say (or should say) screw this noise, if we are not satisfied with Brazil's efforts before this December's meetings (when they are suppposed to award 2018 and 2022) we will give 2014 to the USA (or another country with completed infrastructure and good security like England or Japan), award 2018, and then leave 2022 for a few years ("with an option for Brazil to prove itself and reapply", or "with an option for Brazil to have the honor of cohosting with Uruguay an expanded Centennial World Cup in 2030 with 64 teams"). FIFA was disappointed China with its wealth did not end up going for 2022, and this might be an opportunity to allow them back into the running for 2022, or maybe 2026.


Brazil's World Cup: The Worrying Starts Early

..By ANDREW DOWNIE / SÃO PAULO Andrew Downie / SÃo Paulo – 2 hrs 1 min ago

Consternation usually follows celebration when a country wins the right to host the World Cup. It is, after all, the most popular of sports championships and no one wants to be embarrassed throwing one of the biggest parties on the planet. It was Brazil's turn for anxiety after it won the rights to the 2014 Cup two and a half years ago. Critics were concerned about the country's ability to build or renovate 12 stadiums in time for the tournament and feared a repeat of the 2007 Rio Pan American Games, also hosted by Brazil, that were last-minute, hugely over-budget and left nary a legacy of improved living conditions for citizens.

Those fears were at the forefront when proposals for the dozen stadiums took forever to get ready. In fact, though building was supposed to have started on all 12 this spring, they only won the approval of FIFA, the game's governing body, earlier this week. (See what becomes of Olympic stadiums.)

FIFA has already been worrying out loud. Earlier this month, the organization's Secretary General Jerome Valcke noted that preparations were so far behind schedule that Brazil is considering reducing the number of host cities from 12 to 8. He lambasted Brazilian soccer bosses for ignoring the agreed deadlines - which the country's planners have refused to divulge - and said it ran the risk of having to build stadiums at the last minute. "I got a report on the status quo of the Brazilian stadiums. I have to say it is not very nice," Valcke told reporters. "It is amazing how Brazil is already late. The stadiums are the basic points we need to have a World Cup in Brazil; for the time being, most of the deadlines are already over and we have to work on new deadlines." Observers say it is surprisingly early for FIFA to be alarmed at the progress of a host country. (See how a blackout in Brazil raises more questions about the Olympics.)

Brazil should have had a head-start. It was the only candidate to host the 2014 tournament and was a popular choice when selected in October 2007. The home of many of the game's greatest teams and most outstanding players, it hadn't been the site of the tournament since 1950 and many fans felt the South American giant deserved to host it again. But while Brazil has continued to produce star after star on the field - it is the only nation to win the World Cup five times - its skills at organization have seemed almost amateurish. Officials waited more than a year after winning the bid to choose the 12 host cities (at least five of which must be ready for the 2013 Confederations Cup). What's more, it has done little to address the basic infrastructure of airports, ports and highways, which clearly cannot support the expected influx of fans. "We are now seeing the consequences of not doing what we could have done," said Jose Roberto Bernasconi, president of an architecture and engineering organization that is closely monitoring Brazil's preparations. "Huge improvements are necessary."

Bernasconi also said authorities have failed on the most basic transparency measures: refusing to publish details of the bid or a timeline for completion of the project's many parts. The government took two years just to draw up a responsibility paper outlining who is in charge of specific aspects of the enterprise. That document was eventually presented in January; it declared that the government would spend $7.4 billion on transport, infrastructure and oversight and that Brazilian states and municipalities in charge of hosting matches will spend $3.9 billion on stadiums and facilities.

But in comments echoing those of Valcke, Bernasconi questioned whether anyone will be taken to task over the recurring delays. Of the 12 stadiums, nine will be publicly owned. Those projects will be eligible for low-interest loans of up to 400 million reais (around $215 million) either to build a new structure or remodel an existing one. But no one has applied for a loan yet. Skeptics say both the nine local governments and three privately owned clubs involved in the bid are deliberately holding off, hoping that the government will be forced to jump in at the last minute and give them the money, allowing them to avoid taking out a loan altogether. "They're waiting to see who'll blink first," said Bernasconi. "Everybody wants to go to the party but no one wants to pay for it."

View this article on Time.com

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The most ironic thing with this whole situation is that Triesman was accusing Russia and Spain of corruption while England openly bribed Warner.

Given all of the referee corruption both proven and rumoured, the implications of these statements are staggering. Assuming the Brit is not mentally ill or was trying to get into the pants of the lady he was talking to of course.

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Thats my kind of thinking when it comes to all matters relating to FIFA. Or it will go to the country who is the chief power broker who will keep Blatter (or some other guy) in his current role. Hello African countries.

Exactly, which is why i think Bill Archers' predicition of Qatar getting the 2022 World Cup isn't so far fetched. Their FA President (Bin Hammann) is one of the front runners to replace Blatter, has been a loyal servant to Blatter and their bid committee has roughly US$150 Million to spread around to "keep it fair" as Rodney Dangerfield once said...and this is basically the last pay day for this aging cartel (which is why they decided to award both WC's at the same time) so they'll want to make it count.

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  • 3 months later...

Not exactly illegal but still ethically dubious, Beckham shows up in Trinidad to run some clinics for kids in front of Sepp and Jack. Whatever happened to the idea of countries being chosen who were best suited to hold the event?

Beckham to hold coaching clinic in Trinidad


Sep 20, 1:59 pm EDT



LONDON (AP)—David Beckham will guide players and coaches in Trinidad this weekend to help boost support for England’s World Cup bid.

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder’s trip coincides with the final of the Under-17 women’s World Cup in Port-of-Spain, which will be attended by FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Vice President Jack Warner.

As president of the CONCACAF confederation, Warner holds one of the 24 votes on the FIFA executive committee, which will decide the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup in December.

England, which is in the running for either event, has pledged to invest in developing football globally in conjunction with Beckham’s academy.

“It is heartening to know that a man of such international stature remains committed to the development of talent worldwide,” Warner said in a statement released Monday by England’s bid team. “This is a remarkable opportunity for the 200 participants. The fact that, despite his busy schedule, David has taken the time to open this festival, to share his knowledge with the children, is testament to his character.”

Beckham pledged to make the trip when he met Warner in Cape Town last year.

“Trinidad and Tobago have produced some excellent players over the years and the islands are full of young people who love football,” Beckham said. “I am really looking forward to seeing the young girls and boys from all backgrounds and their coaches at my academy.

“Encouraging young girls to play football has always been an important part of the thinking behind the academy and it will be great to take this opportunity to also see some of the world’s best young women play in the Under-17 final.”

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