Triesman accuses FIFA quartet of corruption

ESPNsoccernet staff
May 10, 2011

Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman has lifted the lid on the 2018 World Cup bidding process, accusing four FIFA executive committee members of requesting gifts in return for votes.

Nicolas Leoz, Jack Warner, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi were all singled out by Triesman as he spoke before MPs at the culture, media and sport committee in the House of Commons. Triesman confirmed he will be taking the claims to FIFA.

In the most astonishing claim, Paraguay's Nicolas Leoz is said to have demanded a knighthood in return for voting for England's 2018 bid.

Warner, meanwhile, reportedly requested that £2.5 million to build an education centre in Trinidad with the cash to be channelled through him, and later £500,000 to buy Haiti's World Cup TV rights for the earthquake-hit nation, also to go through Warner.

It is alleged that Brazil's Teixeira told Triesman on November 14 in Qatar: "Tell me what you can do for me when you come to see me."

Thailand's Worawi Makudi is accused of wanting the TV rights to a friendly between England and his national team.

Triesman said: "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.''

Asked why he did not report the incidents to FIFA, Triesman said he feared that would damage the England bid but admitted he should have done so and pushed for action.

"The point was not pressed,'' he said. "And I think, in retrospect, we would have burned off our chances. In retrospect that was not the right view to take and I accept that.''

In a statement released soon after Triesman's claims, Warner immediately denied any wrongdoing, telling Sky Sports News: ''I have no intention of dignifying this piece of nonsense ... no doubt he [Triesman] feels he can revive his dying political career by a piece of foolishness.

"I have never asked Triesman, nor any other person, Englishman or otherwise, for any money for my vote at any time. I have spoken to Triesman on only three occasions and not one of his colleagues will ever corroborate his bit of trivia."

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said of the allegations: "I cannot say that they [the four executive committee members] are all angels or all devils. I am fighting for FIFA to clean FIFA, if this is true then I will fight this.

"I can only speak for myself and not my committee members because they are elected by the continents. All I can say is that this should go to the Fifa ethic committee.''

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