The fallout from Lord Triesman's secretly taped conservations with a former mistress published on Sunday was swift. Within 24 hours of revelations that he
believed 2018 World Cup bid rivals Spain and Russia were conspiring to fix the 2010 World Cup finals and 2018 World Cup bid, he resigned as chairman of The Football Association and England’s
World Cup bid team.
“Entrapment, especially by a friend, is an unpleasant experience both for my family and me, but it leaves me with no alternative but to resign,” Triesman said in a statement. “I have immediately informed The FA Board of my decision.”
Triesman added that "his comments were never intended to be taken seriously," but England’s bid team immediately faxed off apologies to Spain and Russia, and the FA intended to send a delegation to FIFA to meet with President Sepp Blatter.
Russian bid director Aleksey Sorokin said it showed that his country's bid was looking pretty good if it "leaves no other alternative for our competitors but to bring up these absurd allegations."
Jorge Perez Arias, who heads Spain’s co-bid with Portugal, said the remarks too absurd to be true. “I don’t believe Lord Triesman has said something like this. Mr. Triesman and the FA are excellent. We have a superb relationship with them and I just don’t believe what’s being reported."
Many pointed to Melissa Jacobs, which agreed to tape record the conversation, and the Mail on Sunday, which reported the story, as the culprits in the affair.
Even if the absurdity of Triesman's comments was evident, the affair gives FIFA a big reason to stay clear of England.
Would you trust organizing the World Cup in a country where soccer is regularly taken down in such a media circus?