Triesman to leave 2018 bid role

Reports claim Lord Triesman is to stand down as chairman of the England 2018 World Cup bid following his suggestion that Spain were attempting to bribe referees at this summer's World Cup.

In comments attributed to him in the Mail on Sunday following a secretly taped conversation with a former civil servant aide, Triesman was reported to have said that Spain were ready to abandon their own bid to stage the 2018 World Cup and get behind Russia's effort to host the event should they help them bribe referees in South Africa.

His comments are expected to damage England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup and come just two days after he travelled with figurehead David Beckham to Zurich to present a formal bid to stage the tournament to FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

It is unclear whether Triesman, who was appointed the Football Association's first independent chairman in January 2008, will retain his role with the FA.

In a bid to limit the damage, the 2018 team has now faxed apology letters to the Russian and Spanish FAs.

"Spain are looking for help…to bribe the referees," Triesman was quoted as saying by the Mail on Sunday.

"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."

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