The accusations are made in today’s Mail on Sunday who have a taped conversation between Triesman and his former secretary, the attractive 37-year-old Melissa Jacobs.
Employing a favourite tactic of older men in positions of power married man Triesman used his ‘charm’ on Miss Jacobs and began to divulge some very private details and thoughts that should have been kept within the inner circle of the FA.
The Mail on Sunday report the following excert from their conversation over a recent dinner:
Triesman said: ‘My assumption is that the Latin Americans, although they’ve not said so, will vote for Spain. And if Spain drop out, because Spain are looking for help from the Russians to help bribe the referees in the World Cup, their votes may then switch to Russia.’
At this point, Miss Jacobs asks: ‘Would Russia help them with that?’
Lord Triesman: ‘Oh, I think Russia will cut deals.’
Miss Jacobs: ‘Why will Russia help? Are Russia in the World Cup?’
Lord Triesman: ‘No, they’re not.’
Miss Jacobs: ‘Oh no they’re not, they’ve got nothing to lose?’
Lord Triesman: ‘Absolutely nothing at all to lose. Exactly.’
Triesman is likely to claim that it was light hearted comments to impress his former secretary but mud sticks.
His likely resignation will be seen as an attempt by the FA to distance themselves from the lovestruck peer but the damage to England’s World Cup hopes, this year and the future won’t be erased by one resignation.
It’ll take the most incredible PR offensive to wriggle out of those accusations, not even a mission by David Beckham to invite every association chairman to tea and biscuits with Posh and the kids in LA is likely to repair the damage.
The FA attempted to secure a High Court injunction to prevent the story from being published which gives a good indication to the strength of the story.
In recent times the FA have been increasingly accident prone, with a high turnover of Chief Executive’s, but most of the problems have been internal.
This latest scandal is likely to end England’s expensive plans to host the 2018 World Cup Finals and could well have an impact on the upcoming World Cup in South Africa.
Internationally the FA are often seen as arrogant and dismissive of their inferior foreign rivals, this story will underline that feeling.
On the pitch it could make life difficult for Fabio Capello’s side with accusations of cheating coming from a high ranking English official.
In Scotland of course we know that football match officials are beyond criticism and that any questionable decision is simply caused by an honest mistake.