[ENGLAND] If you've never heard of Lord Triesman before, you sure will now. He quit Sunday as the chairman of the English Football Association -- the head of English soccer -- and England's World Cup bid committee after he became embroiled in a sex scandal that threatens to bring down the English bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.
The Mail of Sunday published excerpts from remarks he allegedly made to a women who says she was his former mistress -- she once worked for him as his private secretary. On the tapes, Lord Triesman accuses Spain -- a rival bidder -- of seeking help from Russia -- yet another European bidder -- to bribe referees at the 2010 World Cup, where Spain is one of the favorites. The payoff? Shifting its support to Russia in the campaign for the 2018 World Cup.
"There’s some evidence," Lord Triesman is caught on tape telling Melissa Jacobs at a London restaurant two weeks ago, "that the Spanish football authorities are trying to identify the referees ... and pay them."
Lord Triesman details to Jacobs his view of corruption around the soccer world and how it might affect the World Cup bid campaigns.
His remarks are so explosive that the FA unsuccessfully tried to get a High Court injunction to block's The Mail on Sunday publishing the story.
Lord Triesman also talks at length about England's 2010 World Cup team and is full of praise for its coach, Fabio Capello. He's also full of praise for the Glazer family that owns Manchester United, saying he gets "a lot more cooperation out of them than I do out of the English owners."
Sex scandals are nothing new to the FA. Chief executive Mark Palios quit in 2004 over then-England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's affair with Faria Alam, a secretary at the FA with whom he also had an affair.
The irony is that Lord Triesman, a former member of the Communist Party, was brought in to clean up the FA.
He was an influential member of the Labour Party that just lost power in Britain.