Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman has accused FIFA members of seeking bribes in the World Cup bidding process.Triesman was originally chosen to chair England’s bid for the 2018 tournament, but resigned last May after commenting about alleged bribery attempts by Spain and Russia of World Cup referees in South Africa.
Now Triesman has accused FIFA vice-president Jack Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), along with members Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay), Ricardo Terra Teixeira (Brazil) and Worawi Makudi (Thailand), of asking for favours or gifts in exchange for dedicating their vote for England to host the 2018 World Cup.
Triesman alleged that Warner had asked for money, Leoz asked for knighthood, Makudi asked for television rights to an England-Thailand friendly and Teixeira told him ‘come and tell me what you have got for me’ in return for a vote for England.
“These were some of the things that were put to me personally, sometimes in the presence of others, which in my view did not represent proper and ethical behaviour on the part of members of the executive committee,” Triesman said.
Warner, however, forthrightly denied any wrongdoing, stating that Triesman’s claims were merely for political gain.
“I have no intention of dignifying that piece of nonsense of Triesman who no doubt feels that he can revive his dying political career by mentioning that piece of foolishness,” Warner told Sky Sports News.
“I have never asked Triesman nor any other person, Englishman or otherwise, for any money for my vote at any time.”
“In the English World Cup campaign, before he was unceremoniously kicked out, I have spoken to Triesman, on his initiative, only on three occasions, while I have spoken to his other colleagues on other occasions and not one of his colleagues will ever corroborate his bit of trivia.”
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he was ‘shocked’ by the claims, but was waiting to weigh up the facts before condemning any member of world football’s governing body as corrupt.
“They are coming from other confederations, so I cannot say that they are all angels or all devils,” Blatter said.
“There is a new round of information. Give us time to digest that and start the investigation by asking for evidence on what has been said.”
“We will react immediately against all those in breach of the ethics code rules.”
“Zero tolerance is going through FIFA, it is one of the items on the Congress. It is my battle horse.”