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Triesman accuses FIFA members of seeking bribes for votes

Lord Triesman in happier times with FIFA president Sepp Blatter during England's World Cup bidding process.
Lord Triesman in happier times with FIFA president Sepp Blatter during England's World Cup bidding process.
  • England's 2018 World Cup chairman claims FIFA executives sought bribes from him
  • Lord Triesman accuses four members of demanding favors in return for votes
  • Jack Warner is the most influential of the FIFA members implicated by Triesman

(CNN) -- The former chairman of England's failed 2018 World Cup bid has told a British parliamentary committee that four members of FIFA's executive committee demanded cash and honors in return for their votes to decide the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts.

David Triesman told the committee that Jack Warner, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi had all sought certain favors in order to secure England's vote for the 2018 competition.

"Things were put to me personally, sometimes in the presence of others, which in my view did not represent proper and ethical behavior on the part of members of the executive committee," Triesman told the committee.

The highest-profile executive member implicated is Jack Warner, the influential head of the North and Central American federation CONCACAF, who Triesman claims demanded to be paid $4 million for construction of schools in Trinidad.

Triesman said of Warner's suggestion: "I said immediately the proposition was out of the question -- you're probably talking about $4 million. Jack nodded at that. He said that the money could be channelled through him and he would guarantee the funds would be appropriately spent."

Triesman also revealed that Paraguayan Leoz, the head of the South American federation CONMEMBOL, had requested a knighthood during a meeting in November 2009.

Things were put to me personally...which in my view did not represent proper and ethical behavior
--Lord Triesman

"I said it was completely impossible, we didn't operate like that. He shrugged his shoulders and walked away," Triesman told the parliamentary committee.

The same month, Triesman met Brazilian official Teixeira, who allegedly said to him: "You come and tell me what you have for me."

The fourth official named by Triesman was Thailand's Worawi Makudi, who had demanded to be awarded broadcasting rights of a possible friendly match between England and Thailand in Bangkok that had been pencilled in for 2011.

England gained only two of the 22 votes in the World Cup ballot and were knocked out in the first round of the voting process.

Russia went on to win the ballot with 13 votes and Triesman continued: "We feared damaging England's bid if we had gone public with this. In retrospect that was not the right view to take and I accept that."

Meanwhile, it was also revealed on Tuesday that the Sunday Times newspaper had evidence that two more executive committee members were paid nearly $1.5 million to vote for Qatar's successful 2022 World Cup bid.

The accusations were highlighted by British Member of Parliament Damian Collins, who claimed that FIFA vice-president Issa Hayatou of Cameroon and Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast, were the members involved.

FIFA's ethics committee banned two other executive committee members last year, after another Sunday Times investigation into World Cup bidding.

Responding to all the allegations, FIFA president Sepp Blatter told reporters on Tuesday: "I was shocked hearing this, but one has to see the evidence.

"The committee members are coming from other confederations, so I cannot say that they are all angels or all devils," added Blatter.

"Give us time to digest the claims and start the investigation by asking for evidence on what has been said. We will react immediately against all those in breach of the ethics code rules."