The Football Association spent Wednesday trying to contact members of England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid to establish possible further allegations of unethical behaviour by Fifa members following claims made to MPs by Lord Triesman.
Allegations made in parliament on Tuesday against six members of the world governing body’s executive committee continued to reverberate, with Fifa expressing “extreme concern” at the claims.
Fifa issued a statement saying that it had written to David Bernstein, the FA chairman, asking for a full report on the allegations made by his predecessor, Lord Triesman, against four of the members named in parliament.
Lord Triesman, a former chairman of the bid team, reopened the question of Fifa corruption, an issue that haunted the governing body in the run-up to its decision in December to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.
He accused the four of unethical behaviour during England’s failed campaign to win support for its 2018 bid. He accused one member of seeking £2.5m to fund an education centre in Trinidad, and another for seeking a knighthood.
The FA had already begun compiling information and on Wednesday Alex Horne, its chief executive, sent Fifa the first batch relating to the allegations. It is not thought that the FA is working hand in hand with its former chairman, although FA officials do believe the issues “need to be aired”.
The FA has been concerned to establish whether there might be any new allegations to come from those involved in lobbying for the 2018 campaign. Lord Triesman was involved in the bid only until his resignation last May.
If there are any fresh allegations, one issue the FA needs to tackle is how to make them public. Lord Triesman used parliamentary privilege to air his accusations.
Pressure on Fifa rose when Hugh Robertson, minister for sport, suggested that a breakaway of disaffected football associations, including England, was an option unless Fifa reformed. However, he later clarified his remarks, saying the idea of England’s breaking away was not on the agenda.
Two of the Fifa members accused by Lord Triesman, Ricardo Teixeira of Brazil and Nicolás Leóz of Paraguay, issued statements denying the allegations. Jack Warner, a Fifa vice-president, has also denied the claims against him.
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