England bid rocked as Triesman steps down
England’s hopes of hosting the 2018 World Cup were rocked on Sunday when bid chief David Triesman stood down following a newspaper report in which he appeared to make bribery allegations against rival bidders.sports Updated: May 17, 2010 00:11 IST
England’s hopes of hosting the 2018 World Cup were rocked on Sunday when bid chief David Triesman stood down following a newspaper report in which he appeared to make bribery allegations against rival bidders.
The Mail on Sunday published the contents of what it said was a secretly taped private conversation between Triesman, who is also chairman of the Football Association (FA), and a former aide from his time as a government minister.
Triesman reportedly suggested that World Cup favourites Spain, with the help of Russia, were seeking to bribe referees at next month’s finals in South Africa.
Sources confirmed that Triesman had stood down while England 2018 chiefs moved quickly to distance themselves from his reported comments, saying that apologies had been faxed to their Spanish and Russian counterparts as well as governing body FIFA.
A World Cup 2018 bid spokesman said Triesman’s alleged comments in no way represented their own views.
Triesman, whose position as chairman of the FA could now be in jeopardy, was quoted as saying Russia could help Spain bribe referees in return for Spain withdrawing its own bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Russia’s bid received praise from FIFA president Sepp Blatter earlier this month.
Russia responded with their bid chief calling on FIFA’s ethical commission to deal with the situation at the earliest possible date.
Hosts SA thrash Thailand
Nelspruit: Hosts South Africa launched their World Cup countdown with a 4-0 thrashing of Thailand on Sunday in the opening match at Mbombela Stadium.
Midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala scored once and striker Katlego Mphela twice in a 12-minute first half spell before a sell-out 30,000 crowed as one of 10 Cup venues passed its test after the pitch was relaid several times.
Bernard Parker added a fourth in the final minute as South Africa matched a record winning margin created with a victory by the same score against Chad in an African Nations Cup qualifier.
But much tougher tests lie ahead against Bulgaria, Colombia and Denmark before South Africa face Mexico in the June 11 opener and then tackle former world champions Uruguay and France.
Ballack’s ankle too swollen for scan
Berlin: Germany captain for the World Cup Michael Ballack will have to wait until Monday for a scan on his injured ankle because it is still too badly swollen, the country’s football federation (DFB) said on Sunday.