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Is swift Triesman action enough to save 2018 bid?

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David Bond | 13:06 UK time, Sunday, 16 May 2010

Lord David Triesman had no choice but to resign as chairman of England's 2018 World Cup bid on Sunday morning.

Once it became clear that his private and indiscreet chat with a former civil service colleague was out in the public domain, senior figures on the bid team and inside the Football Association began distancing themselves from damaging claims of collusion between the Spanish and Russian FAs to bribe referees at this summer's World Cup. I will return to this bizarre conspiracy theory in a moment.

Around midday on Sunday, Lord Triesman told colleagues on the 2018 bid board that he would step down.

This came after a frenetic morning of meetings and phone calls between key figures including head of international strategy David Dein, Lord Sebastian Coe, who splits his time between his 2018 role and his day job as chairman of the London Olympic organising committee for the 2012 Games, and Keith Mills, also a member of the 2018 and London 2012 boards.

As soon as the story broke at 2200 BST on Saturday, the 2018 team were engaged in a damage limitation exercise. Messages were sent to the Spanish and Russian 2018 bid teams disowning Triesman's remarks and apologising.

Coe is due to telephone the Fifa president Sepp Blatter later on Sunday to make the bid team's position clear and to explain it has moved swiftly to deal with his comments.

Dein is now the front-runner to take over from Triesman as interim chairman with Coe and Mills likely to step up their involvement in the next few weeks.

By moving so swiftly and decisively, the 2018 team hope they will help avoid any lasting damage from Triesman's remarks.

Just to recap, Triesman was allegedly caught on tape telling Melissa Jacobs, a former colleague and friend from his days as a government minister, that the Spanish FA was looking to bribe referees in South Africa at next month's World Cup finals.

To help them, they had, according to Triesman, enlisted the backing of the Russians who would join the referees plot in return for their support in subsequent voting rounds should Spain go out early in the election of the 2018 World Cup hosts in December.

Now, I have covered quite a few of these bids and you hear all sorts of wild conspiracy theories for why certain members of the 24-strong Fifa executive vote the way they do. But I have never heard anything quite as far fetched as this.

Above all else, it would require the three Fifa members from Latin America (two of whom are from Brazil and Argentina) assumed to support Spain and Portugal's 2018 bid to collude in a bid to give Spain an advantage at this summer's World Cup, by swinging behind the Russians once Spain and Portugal are eliminated. It makes no sense.

Senseless or not, Triesman - usually such an engaging and accomplished administrator - has said it and will have to pay the price. As a senior member of the Labour Party (he was a former general secretary and also served as a foreign office minister), Triesman must have seen political colleagues reach the critical moment when they know there is no turning back.

On Sunday morning, he would have experienced that feeling himself and as he read through the Mail on Sunday's story he would have reached the only decent conclusion - that he had to walk the plank.

So where does this leave the 2018 bid?

In short, they are going to find it incredibly difficult to recover from this.

Fifa's executive committee members (one of whom is Spanish and another Russian) will be absolutely furious at the head of a bid making such claims against rival bids. It is forbidden in the rules laid down by Fifa for the bid process but even if it wasn't wrong, it would be a resigning matter.

Even before these extraordinary claims, England 2018 had suffered a series of embarrassing setbacks.

First we had the comments from Fifa vice-president Jack Warner in October that England's bid was lightweight. Then we had the Mulberry handbag gaffe where the wives of all 24 members of the Fifa executive were sent gifts in contravention of the bidding rules.
And that all culminated in the November resignation of Sir David Richards after a reshuffle of the 2018 bid board.

Since December's World Cup draw in Cape Town however, and thanks mainly to the presence of David Beckham, England's bid has been back on track.

blatter_book_getty595.jpg David Beckham hands over England's 2018 bid book to Sepp Blatter on Friday. Photo: Getty

Last Friday's presentation of the bid book to Blatter went well and there was a confidence among leaders. In fact Triesman told me in an interview last Thursday that if the vote had been on Friday, England would have won it.

Even if that interpretation may have been wishful thinking, the opposite is certainly true now.

Those left to pick up the pieces are describing it as the 2018 bid's 'Panorama' moment - a reference to the 2004 crisis for the London 2012 Olympic bid when a BBC investigation claimed members of the International Olympic Committee were open to bribes.

But that was a legitmate piece of journalism. They may not have liked it but ultimately those members of the IOC less used to a free and open press, had to accept that it was beyond the control of Coe and other senior members at London 2012.

Triesman's comments are far less easy to explain and this problem will not be solved by just removing him from the 2018 position and leaving him in charge at the FA. The 2018 bid team may be run by a separate subsidiary company but it is the national FA which submits the bid.

Blatter and Fifa will not be able to understand why he is still head of the FA after making such remarks and any failure to deal with that part of the problem swiftly will probably leave the bid dead in the water.

For the FA it leaves them facing another period of enormous upheaval. The organisation is already without a permanent chief executive following Ian Watmore's resignation in March and serious issues over finances and the future of Wembley lie ahead.

Today 2018 is the priority and Triesman's swift removal may give them a slim chance of salvaging the campaign. Sorting out the FA will be far more complicated.


Following a lengthy FA board meeting on Sunday afternoon, David Triesman has just issued a statement confirming he has stepped down as both chairman of the FA and of the 2018 World Cup bid team.

David Sheepshanks, the former Ipswich chairman, and Roger Burden, the head of the national game board, have been appointed joint interim chairmen of the FA.

An interim replacement for Triesman at the head of the 2018 board is yet to be named but it is likely Triesman's predecessor Geoff Thompson, who is a vice-chairman of Fifa and member of the 24-man executive, will be given the job of trying to patch up the damage done by Sunday's damaging bribe claims.

For the second time in a week, the FA have moved swiftly and decisively to deal with a major problem. The first, England manager Fabio Capello's new ratings website, was postponed until after the World Cup amid concerns it would undermine his relationship with the players in South Africa.

By removing Triesman so quickly the FA and England 2018 will hope they can salvage some credibility.

In his resignation statement, Triesman said: "A private conversation with someone whom I thought to be a friend was taped without my knowledge and passed to a national newspaper. That same friend has also chosen to greatly exaggerate the extent of our friendship."

I know there is a lot of sympathy among readers of my earlier blog for the fact Triesman has been the victim of a media sting. In fact, it is understood the members of the FA board accepted Triesman's resignation with some reluctance and regret at this embarrassing turn of events.

But the fact is he is an experienced and accomplished former politician and he should have been more discreet in his remarks.

Triesman and English football have paid a heavy price for those comments.


Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Was the bid ever still alive? The bickering and infighting which has blighted this genuine attempt to get the finals back to the home of football have been embarrassing enough, but the shocking revelations today are the final nail in the bids coffin. Triesmans' resignation is purely symbolic and will have no outcome on the decision to host the 2018 WC elsewhere. Once again, it is the game as a whole that suffers and the FA have got to be held to account for what has been one embarrassing episode after another.

  • Comment number 2.

    My did the Mail on Sunday have to destroy our bid. They had enough dirt in the hour long recording to sell a few copies, with out repeating the stuff about Spain, and Russia.

  • Comment number 3.

    He's been a fool, but it shows the mail on sunday to be the unpatriotic rag it is. Over a billion pounds in income for the nation,thousands of jobs that would have been created,the boost to national pride and a 21st century sports and travel infastructure, sold so they can sell a few more copies of their rag.

  • Comment number 4.

    Serves the FA right. This is inevitably what happens when you put a non-football, public schoolboy type beak in charge. In the press conference broadcast on Friday all he did was bump his gump in ill mannered fashion over the co-host to his immediate right. Bad advert for the English game and it WILL cost you.

  • Comment number 5.

    Could this blog not comment on whether or not it was correct for the Mail on Sunday to publish this non-story?

    Is it truly in the 'public interest'? No.

    This paper has single handedly ruined our bid. Only in this country would a rag choose to put it's own mediocre circulation in front of the hope of a nation for a 2018 world cup. This was a private conversation, how many of us talk about these kind of things with friends, how many times have you in private conversation alleged that a referee has been bribed, etc?

    This was a molehill, but the fabrication of this story has created a mountain which will undoubtedly RUIN our 2018 chances.

    Surely the new coalition may want to give the Daily Mail more than a slap on the wrist with the introduction of a new press regulator...

  • Comment number 6.

    He must have trusted this woman enormously to have actually verbalised these allegations. I find it hard to believe anyone could do this to someone they counted as a friend.
    Are we just laying grounds for why England are 'cheated' out of winning in advance already? It's all too cynical now. Truly there is too much money in football. Money equates nowadays with power, and all power corrupts. What a mess.

  • Comment number 7.

    There has long been rumours and substantiated reports of the bloated freeloading of "officials" responsible for awarding the World Cup Competition so what's new?

    What should be new is instead of sweeping it up under the carpet and sidelining anyone who speaks out of turn we make a stand and withdraw from the bidding process and leave it to countries with lesser morals. Fairplay? What a laugh that is when those at the very pinnacle of the game treat it as a pocket lining exercise far in excess of anything coming even close to fairplay.

    If Lord Triesman has any proof of these allegations then set politics aside and attempts to get our snouts contaminated in the same trough, have some fibre and at least stand up for what the game should be all about.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    Congratulations must go to the Daily Mail for their unbelievable narrow-mindedness in publishing the story. Why would you want to compromise the large efforts of the country in order to sell more papers and deny us the chance to host a World Cup?

  • Comment number 10.

    Triesman has always been a joke and an embarrassment and should resign from the FA right now, not try to cling on to power like his party did. But I agree about the Mail on Sunday, and I actually think this will do them long-term damage as they will be seen to have lost the World Cup bid for England.

    First 'Quotes of the Week' is cancelled and now this.

  • Comment number 11.

    What did the editor/owners of the Mail think was going to happen when they published this? That the country would pat them on the back for destroying the world cup bid? Their lack of integrity is compounded by their lack of intelligence.

    It's no wonder public officials are so secretive; they dare not say anything to anyone for fear of it being twisted into tomorrow's tabloid headline.

  • Comment number 12.

    Why do the UK Press keep spoiling our Sporting opportunities??

    The press think they can "report" on anything to sell newspapers rather than supporting something which will increase the standing of UK Sports - to say nothing of our sporting bodies revenues.

    They did it to Sven - remember the Sheik revelations?

    What can you do about it?

    Stop buying the Mail on Sunday and the Mail - let them suffer some financial hardship - no need to resort to judicial action - do it yourself. These people are denying you the rights to see a World Cup in your own country. Let's combine to let the press know they will suffer if they report these sort of comments (if they are true and said in private).

  • Comment number 13.

    And he was brought in to clean house? Was he too thick to recognise that international sport is a branch of politics? It's time to dismantle the F.A. Best to spin it now that we are the best in the world at tackling bigots and hooligans.

  • Comment number 14.

    I would really like to know what the Mail On Sunday would have to say should this ruin our bid. I agree it was not a wise move by Triesman, but surely it could have been dealt with internally. It just shows the greed of some of the UK media that they would put profits before the national interest. It really is time for the media to start thinkings about what repercussion their stories could have. I hope this comes back to bite the Mail On Sunday.

  • Comment number 15.

    Frankly some of the comments on here by England fans are ridiculous. Blaming the Mail on Sunday for doing exactly what a newspaper is supposed to do, that is; report the news, is remarkable.

    If it was a Russian or Spaniard who had accused the English of bribery you lot would be back to your usual chest-beating and foaming at the mouth about "Johnny Foreigner"

  • Comment number 16.

    Don't worry everyone. David Beckham will save the bid............................................................

  • Comment number 17.

    Yet another one born with a silver spoon has ruined it for the normal bloke! Why was this POLITICIAN given the reins for the 2018 bid? Journalists in this country are scum, why on earth would a national newspaper try to hijack our bid for the world cup? Its just like them harrassing the players and trying to dig up the dirt on them to put them under pressure before South Africa. Its a disgrace!

  • Comment number 18.

    There is absolutely no way this story is in the public interest. The Wail have been against the London Olympics since day one. What are they trying to do scupper the next big sporting event on Earth coming to London? Sport brings so much positivity to a nation, why can't it just be celebrated. So much effort and money has gone in to the bid, they should hang their heads in shame trying to bring it down.

    For all the people who love sport in this country and I include myself in that, please can the press have an amnesty on covering explosive stories during the World Cup this year. We want our team to do well and have the best opportunity to do so. Revealing stories of bad behaviour, affairs etc might sell a few copies of the Wail - but what does it do for team morale.

  • Comment number 19.

    I think it's about time you all stopped buying print newspapers.

    Only way to tell them.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    A very MASSIVE congratulation to the Mail On Sunday, for utterly ruining our bid for the 2018 World Cup, as many others have also said correctly below.

    This is the REAL story here, and I, like many others, are very disappointed that the Editorial of the Beeb did not mention this in the article.

    Well done Mail on Sunday. Have you even any basic understanding of "National Interest"...?

  • Comment number 24.

    @ VenomPD - how wrong you are.

    The Press Codes, and various other guidance, covers matters where it relates to printing contentious issues when it is then still in the national interest.

    How with the greatest of imaginations at all, as idiotic as what Lord Triesman has done, can you explain to us it amounting to being in the National Interest to go to print with it?

    How is all but ensuring that England no longer host the World Cup, conversely, then in ENGLAND'S National Interest.

    How bizarre...

  • Comment number 25.

    What a joke.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Ibrox also posted this but, David Beckham to save the bid!

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    VenomPD: Don't you think the Russians and Spaniards will be "chest-beating and foaming at the mouth about 'Johnny Foreigner'"? Perhaps that's what everyone is expecting. Check their media reactions...

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    And why did they time it to be just as the bid has been entered?

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    Apparently I broke the house rules because I sad lot of people dislike the Mail on Sunday and Melissa Jacobs.

  • Comment number 40.

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  • Comment number 41.

    A national boycott of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday should begin IMMEDIATELY.

    They are truly pathetic.

    Triesman, although misguided in the extreme, was talking to someone he thought he trusted, but it turned out she would sell herself out for 30 pieces of silver.

    I hope that she realises that no amount of money will be enough for any man to trust her in a relationship again. She deserves the life she will lead.

  • Comment number 42.

    Yes, the Mail ruining your chances of winning the bid is horrible. What a bad paper they are, how dare they publish such stuff only to sell more. Surely some limitations should be set in place?

    That is yet another advantage the Russians have for their bid: see, this could never happen over there, because their papers are much more patriotic, organised and skilled in getting behind their leaders. If any of their papers would get their hands on such material, they'd ask politely before daring to publish it. A much better situation, eh? If only it was so in England.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  • Comment number 43.

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  • Comment number 44.

    What an absolutely depressing story to wake up to.

  • Comment number 45.

    Time I think for all football fans to boycott the Daily Mail. You'd think anyone with a triple-digit IQ would refuse to read the rancid rag in the first place.

  • Comment number 46.

    I am getting really tired of the press now... Why do they always have to build things up and then cut them down. This is an event for the benefit of our country, what the hell do they think they are doing?

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    The Sun continues to write dibolical stories about violence in South Africa discouraging people from travelling to the Game. I am certain that loads of people voted a particular recently becasue the media told them to.

    The UK media have been consistent in acusing other assocaitions for corruption without any basis, the case of Jack Warner has been to the extreme.

    The media treat every African association as corrupt and unworthy, but come to think of it even the members of British have shown parlianment have shown some spectacular ways of abject corruption.

  • Comment number 49.


    I understand your point and agree that the press does not need to be regulated but surely the Mail could have applied some common sense and realised the damage they would do by the publishing this?!

  • Comment number 50.

    Lats boycott the mail

  • Comment number 51.

    No point messing about now, we should just withdraw from the running.

  • Comment number 52.

    It sounds like Triesman was a bit foolish in being so unguarded and saying what he said.

    But it's still surprising that as a public figure you can't express a private view - however ill-founded or unjustified or stupid - without it being published.

    To my mind, the Mail on Sunday's intent seems to have been to ruin the bid and thereby save some public money; or to ruin the bid out of pure malice or in order to boost the Russian/other bids; or just to ruin Triesman.

    I already had a low opinion of the Mail and its sister paper. This changes nothing.

  • Comment number 53.

    I am sure that I am not alone in finding the Daily Mail's actions in exposing Lord Triesman as absolutley outrageous, hugely hypocritical in terms of the paper's values, and thoroughly against the national interest. Aside from the subversive manner in which it was done, what possible benefits for our country are there in derailing our bid and denying the country what was most probably going to be a succesful bid at staging the greatest competition on earth? The short-sightedness at the prospect of the 'quick buck' is astounding and no less reprehensible than the city bankers and politicians whom they relentlessly lambast for their own self interested actions. Should the Mail's exposure of Lord Triesman's admittedly unsavoury comments cost England the bid, as well the desperately needed employment and revenue, I believe the public would find it considerably harder to forgive the national paper than the man whom they have exposed.

  • Comment number 54.

    Only the English think England is the home of football, nobody else does. Lol

  • Comment number 55.

    Doesn't David Beckham look lovely.

  • Comment number 56.

    Yet again the press come to the aid of foreign FA's and football teams alike by sensationalising a private conversation into 'news??' with total disregard for the damage this may do to our 2018 bid. Obviously working hard to derail 2010 wasn't enough:(

  • Comment number 57.

    Speaking about Triesman's decision to step down, new Sports Minister Hugh Robertson told the BBC: "It is absolutely the right decision to take.
    "Our top priority as a new government is to win this bid for the country and I am delighted they have acted as quickly and decisively as they have done.

    So, the government's TOP PRIORITY is to win the bidding war for 2018?
    Is this bloke right in the head?
    I want the government to concentrate on clearing the deficit and getting us out of the mess we are already in without this.
    And people wonder why politicians are seen as idiots...

  • Comment number 58.

    When is journalism, and more importantly when are newspapers going to be held to account in this country.

    They always hide behind the freedom of speech and censorship arguments, but what about the rights of private individuals?

    Setting a trap like this, and publishing the private thoughts of Lord Triesman,however ludicrous they maybe, is a national disgrace!

    The Daily Mail has acted against the national interest!

    It is without a doubt the most despicable and traitorous newspaper in the country!

  • Comment number 59.

    As an Irishman I firmly believe English fans have every right to be angry at The Mail. Yes Triesman was extremely naive but must the British media continuously jeopardize national interest. They did it with Sven in '06 and now this? All they need now is an English World Cup scandal to really get their teeth into.

  • Comment number 60.

    We shouldn't even be attempting to make a bid until the F.A sort out the problems and systamatic failures at grassroots levels. Then we have this old fiasco with Wembley having to relay pitches time after time. Then there's the whole issue with whats happening with the Burton Project, when the FA say they have no money, so where's all the money coming from for this Bid ??

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    Is there anyone investigating whether referees will be bribed in the forthcoming tournament? Because surely that is an issue which must be adressed more than a threat to England 2018!

  • Comment number 63.

    Our efforts at every major sporting event are attacked by the press in evey way they can. It's not just the Mail. They're all at it. But don't epect the BBC to see it that way. They're full memebers of the self obsessed journalist club. In a report about the current problems in Thailand, one of the apparently major evens was a journalist being hurt!!!!

    The John Terry thing isn't over yet either. They're just waiting until it will cause maximum damage.

  • Comment number 64.

    We have had to bring in a foreign manager to manager the English football team; now it looks as if we will need to import foreigners to organise tournament bids on behalf of England. Is there is nothing we can do for ourselves as far as football is concerned?
    Oh! and for good measure, we spend £420M on a national football stadium and still cannot get the pitch right!!
    "Football's coming home" -don't make me laugh!

  • Comment number 65.

    you know, the daily mail has taken comments made to a confidente and used them maybe not out of context but in a forum that I am Sure treisman would not consider a public place. we all may think and discuss things behind closed doors that if made public would niot serve us or anyone any good. His private thoughts even ones liuke this that he has possibly sadi from discussing many different alternate senarios. were said in private and niot for public comsump[tion, good grief if that was the case we would all be sacked twice a day. The bigest tradegy in all this is the MAils indulgence in making people think that his private discussions are the actual reasoned real views that he has on these issues and that they find the compuction to reveal these just to sell papers with the knowledge that this con be be nothing short of a disaster for our 2018 world cup bid is a disgrace.. Why would any british sporting fans ever buy this rag again.
    I beg all fans of all english teams to never buy this paper again..

  • Comment number 66.

    I think its digusting from the Mail On Sunday.

    Does anybody think that if Russian or Spanish press found this story about their own bid that they would have ran the story. They wouldn't have even thought about running the story, they would have buried it straight away.

    Like the majority, I find myself upset by this. Triesman shouldn't have made those comments, especially in his position of power. Everyone can agree on that.

    But that doesn't excuse the Mail. They can argue they are in the position of morality, and they were just doing the job they are paid to do. But how long do you think they were sitting on this story. Bit too convenient that it uncovered on the same weekend as we gave our bid book over to FIFA.

    I wonder what Andrew Jennings has to say about this.

  • Comment number 67.

    Why does the editor of this piece fail to also address (or at least pose a few relevant questions)the grubby actions undertaken by the MOS to acquire this gutter story?

    Is it against the code for journalists to criticise their colleagues? I've heard pretty much nothing but bile from most of the press in their comments on Triesman today, yet the majority of the public are united in their condemnation of the MOS and his so-called female friend in selling her story. This was quite blatantly an engineered piece of deception designed to sell a few more copies of the horrible rag.

    I'm no fan of the FA at all, but a private conversation should remain so, and England fans have every right to question as to why the MOS felt this was a story in the public interest.

    Maybe David Bond, as an impartial journo, you could create a blog asking why the English media continue to undermine the national game at every opportunity?

  • Comment number 68.

    Look, the bid was scuppered by David Richards anyway. And Triesman should know that you never, ever make unguarded comments to anyone unless you can trust them implicitly.

  • Comment number 69.

    It always seemed a bit greedy to want the 2018 World Cup after getting the 2012 Olympics. If the bid is dead so be it.

  • Comment number 70.

    i'm fed up of the media and their pious holier than though stance. This paper has harmed the bid. I don't care what triesman thinks. Let's all start boycotting these papers, what benefit has this story given them? The story is hardly important, but it could affect the chance for true football fans of this country to see a WC here

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

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  • Comment number 73.

    Should this torpedo the bid, don't blame Mail, blame Triesman.

  • Comment number 74.

    If he doesn't have any evidence to back up his claims then I really can't understand why he would say something like that. There is, as they say, no smoke without fire but surely this has provided a perfect excuse to not pick us...

  • Comment number 75.

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  • Comment number 76.

    Breaking news that Lord Triesman IS going to step down as head of the FA.

    I just hope this is enough to get the bid back on track - if we lose the chance to host the World Cup in 2018 because of this, I will be furious at the Daily Mail, and annoyed at Lord Triesman. Why do things always go wrong? And when they are discovered by the press, why does the media decide to sabotage everything which could be fantastic for the country? The Olympics bid; private lives etc of English footballers before every major football tournament; the 2018 World Cup bid etc etc. IT'S NOT ON, MEDIA! Please stop sabotaging the company just to sell a few more papers. It's incredulous!

  • Comment number 77.

    Does The Mail on Sunday think they have done the country, or anyone for that matter, a service? They obviously want to be known as the people who stopped England's bid.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment by David Bond is tip-top. The Mail on Sunday's responsibility is not to serve the national interest, it is to publish the news. Triesman's musings and fantasies are enlightening and reveal the ludicrous degree of paranoia that bedevills the English game. No doubt we failed to win the World Cup for the last 45 years because of bribed referees? I seem to remember a Russian line official giving us the benefit of the doubt in 1966. No doubt bribed?

  • Comment number 79.

    I fail to understand what the Mail on Sunday thought would be achieved by running this "story".

    Was it really worth scuppering the chances of winning the World Cup bid for the country?

  • Comment number 80.

    I have to echo the thought of many others on here, and ask why the author isn't asking about the role of the Daily Mail in all this.

    It sounds pretty pre-meditated. After all, someone recorded this 'private' conversation, meaning they were actively looking for something destructive. I'd like to know why.

    Isn't that a more pressing question than why Triesman said what he said?

    Does the author have anything to say on this, or is he going to sidestep it? I think it's quite clear most of the people on here want to discuss the role of the press in all this.

  • Comment number 81.

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  • Comment number 82.

    PS: The Mail on Sunday should have done the decent thing and buried the story!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    The biggest problem with the 2018 bid is not Lord Triesman but the state of the Wembley pitch which was beamed throughout the world yesterday.

    If the Football Association cannot provide a suitable playing surface to play football on then what hope has it got in arranging an international tournament?

  • Comment number 84.

    This is the Mail on Sunday's fault. I would suggest a boycott of this paper. What good have they done reporting something which is not news. They secretly record someone and then use it against the country??? Have they gone mad? These tabloids have really lost the plot. Absolute trash.

  • Comment number 85.

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  • Comment number 87.

    I cannot believe the Mail on Sunday has done this - it is essentially a kiss and tell story. Okay, the guy should have kept his trap shut, but am guessing that the wine was flowing and he was trying to impress.

    I really do feel that the Mail will regret this judging by comments on this page, and the hundreds of damning comments attached to their article.

    How unpatriotic of them. Enough said.

  • Comment number 88.

    Two items in the paper today:

    1) Hidden 'slash & burn' spending timebombs left by the labour party in
    the Nation's 'books';

    2) This debacle by another incompetent labour politician, who's utter
    stupidity may have torpedoed our 2018 bid.

    We are well shot of the lot of them, but the damage to England's bid is going to take some pretty fast diplomacy to overcome.

    For me, this 2018 bid is just so important and vital for football lovers, that words fail me if some rotten politician has ruined it all, just when the bid was looking good again.

    It's 44 years since I stood on those terraces and saw Bobby lift that cup. I remember Haller for the Germans first goal, the equaliser by Hurst, then Peters' "winner", but calamity with Wolfgang Weber getting the equaliser in the 90th minute...I remember seeing it coming...the gap in the defence...the knock back to Weber.......

    The torrential rain showers;

    Extra time; We know the rest....

    .....History; Hurst again.. dubious goal...minutes like hours waiting for the decision; the nod of the Russian linesman; The ear-splitting howl of 100,000 people in the stadium as the goal was given; Then the 120th minute...........'Here comes Hurst. Some people are on the pitch. They think it's all over! WHAM!! '.... it is now!!'

    100,000 people go totally off their heads. History being made; Unforgettable. And I was there. The most memorable day of my life..yes, even in later years after a tropical wedding & four children, it still stands out as unforgettable.

    And I want to do it again, but it is possible that some second rate politician has sacrificed my chances, and those of thousands of others to experience it as well, just because he couldn't keep his big mouth shut and had to brag to some woman he was (probably) trying to impress.

    For heavens sake, someone get Lord Coe & David Beckham on the case.

    ?DO we think it's all over? ...please say it isn't.

    Maybe a call from David Cameron to underline the importance of the bid...

    Do something...


  • Comment number 89.

    15. At 2:40pm on 16 May 2010, VenomPD wrote:

    Frankly some of the comments on here by England fans are ridiculous. Blaming the Mail on Sunday for doing exactly what a newspaper is supposed to do, that is; report the news, is remarkable.


    Don't paint the Mail as some crusader for free speech and truth. The Mail didn't report this news - they created it. They created it by breeching a private conversation, and they and they did it to sell papers, without any regard or forsight for a greater good.

  • Comment number 90.

    If Treasman has gone from both the FA and the bid, can we have someone in charge of the FA who knows what they are doing when it comes to Football?

  • Comment number 91.

    The 2018 bid is effectively dead, it had very little chance of success before these revelations, there is no way it can recover from this gaff.

  • Comment number 92.

    @ 45

    "Time I think for all football fans to boycott the Daily Mail. You'd think anyone with a triple-digit IQ would refuse to read the rancid rag in the first place."

    I'm sure they do. Unfortunately this still leaves half the population.

  • Comment number 93.

    An old man, out of touch with the real world at the helm of the F.A. and the 2018 bid. That was doomed from day one.

    He`s made more stupid comments in the past about excessive spending in the PL, the amount of debts etc. Two chief executives gone since his
    Lordship arrived.

    I just recall the interview by Mihir Bose with Franz Beckenbauer a few years ago about the succesfull german bid for 2006. Beckenbauer asked Bose who`s leading England`s got Lord Triesman as answer and was thinking who on earth is he.

    The F.A. needs a very different person as it`s chairman and the bidding commitee too.

  • Comment number 94.

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    Today I actually wish we had an English equivalent of Mussolini at number 10. At least he wouldn't ever allow a story like this to be published.

  • Comment number 98.

    "...The Mail on Sunday's responsibility is not to serve the national interest, it is to publish the news...."

    And yet their first excuse when fighting a libel or injunction action is "the public/national interest".

    It is often said by people outside the UK that we will never win the World Cup as our press do not get behind the national team, instead they seek to destroy it in order to sell a few more papers. The same is obviously true when it comes to bidding to host the World Cup.

  • Comment number 99.

    Not condoning wha Triesman has said, but this is yet another case of our national media doing everything in its power to make sure we fail. Do we not want the World Cup to be staged here or something?

  • Comment number 100.

    The fourth estate really don't see themselves as part of this country. They're just voyeurs. Anyone who buys that rag can't really call themselves an England supporter. As fr Triesman, older man falls for younger woman who stitches him up. What a surprise.


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