Corruption evidence hard to come by
Published : 13 May 2011 16:30:05
The inquiry into Lord Triesman's allegations of World Cup corruption will struggle to find corroboration of the claims against three of the four FIFA members named by the former Football Association chairman, it can be disclosed.
Senior officials who worked with Triesman on England's 2018 World Cup bid believe only the claims against Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago can be backed up by others.
The other allegations made by Triesman in Parliament this week against Thailand's Worawi Makudi, Brazil's Ricardo Terra Teixeira and Paraguay's Nicolas Leoz came as a surprise to those who had worked on the campaign. The FA have appointed James Dingemans QC to review the Triesman claims and speak to anyone who can back them up, with the deputy High Court judge due to report back by May 27.
Dingemans will also investigate whether Triesman reported any of these allegations to fellow England 2018 board members at the time, and whether this raises any issues of corporate governance over the running of the bid.
Richard Caborn, who was former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's envoy on England's bid, said: "I believe the FA had no alternative but to appoint an independent person to investigate these allegations and I am pleased they have done so.
"It is now incumbent on Lord Triesman to provide all the information on which he has based these allegations, in order to protect the well-being of the game in this country and the integrity of the FA."
There will be first-hand evidence of Warner's alleged requests for cash to build an education centre and £500,000 to cover TV rights to show the World Cup in earthquake-hit Haiti. Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards has confirmed he was present at the meeting where Triesman said Warner asked for the education centre, and other officials were aware of the Haiti request.
The other allegations will be less easy to back up. Triesman said Makudi demanded the television rights for a friendly between England and Thailand. But a number of bid officials contacted by Press Association Sport, under the agreement they would remain anonymous, insisted that was never communicated to them.
Other officials were also present when Triesman met Leoz in Paraguay, but again his claim this week that the South American asked for a knighthood caused surprise to England 2018 bid staff. There also appears to be no corroboration for his allegation that Teixeira said to him "You come and tell me what you have for me".
Meanwhile, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has predicted he will be re-elected by a two-thirds majority on June 1. Blatter is standing against Mohamed Bin Hammam and told Swiss newspaper Blick: "South America, Central and North America, Europe, Oceania and a large part of Africa and Asia will continue to support my ideas."