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Lineker quits The Mail over Triesman scandal
AFP, May 18th, 2010 4:50PM

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Former England striker Gary Lineker says he will no longer be writing a column for The Mail on Sunday in protest over the newspaper publishing the secretly recorded allegations from FA chief David Triesman about England's rival World Cup bidders. Triesman quit as FA chairman and head of the England bid team following the newspaper's claims he had told a former aide that Spain could drop its attempt to host the 2018 event if rival bidder Russia helped bribe referees at this year's World Cup.

Lineker, also a BBC sports presenter, is an official ambassador for England's bid to host the World Cup. He said, "The story itself, the circumstances surrounding it and the actions of The Mail on Sunday in publishing it have undermined the bid to bring the World Cup to England in 2018.

"I wholeheartedly support the bid, because I believe that hosting the tournament would be brilliant for the country, and I am an official ambassador for it. I have therefore taken the view that I cannot continue as a columnist for The Mail on Sunday."

Triesman protested that he believed the conversation was private and he was only commenting "on speculation circulating about conspiracies around the world" and his comments "were never intended to be taken seriously."

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