Triesman denies 'bribery' claims, FIFA drops probe | sports | Hindustan Times
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Triesman denies 'bribery' claims, FIFA drops probe

sports Updated: May 28, 2010 22:15 IST

FIFA said on Friday that former England Football Association (FA) chairman Lord Triesman had denied making claims about rival bidders in the 2018 World Cup.

Triesman was secretly recorded by an English newspaper alleging to a former aide that Spain could drop its 2018 World Cup bid if rival bidder Russia helped bribe referees at this year's World Cup.

But world football's governing body FIFA said that its investigation into the affair had found no basis to the bribery claims.

"In his letter to FIFA, Lord Triesman explained that this speculation was not an allegation on his part but was reported to him in a private capacity and was not known by either The Football Association or the England 2018 FIFA World Cup Bid Committee," said FIFA in a statement.

Triesman had to resign his position as FA chairman and as head of England's 2018 World Cup bid team amid fears his claims would damage England's chances of hosting the 2018 World Cup.

But responding to FIFA's queries, Triesman and the Football Association explained that he was commenting on speculation that was circulating among journalists in Europe when he was taped without his knowledge.

That tape was passed on to the newspaper.

Triesman also explained that the speculation was not an allegation and that the comments published in the newspaper were "never intended to be taken seriously".

"Following this thorough investigation, FIFA has found no indication that there is any basis to the allegations reported by Lord Triesman," said FIFA, adding that it had also contacted the Russian and Spanish football associations in its probe.

"In the light of the above-mentioned circumstances, the chairman of the FIFA Ethics Committee has decided not to pursue this matter any further," it said.