Sven Goran Eriksson, the former England manager, has become the latest high-profile football figure to approach Scotland Yard with concerns he was a victim of the phone-hacking scandal.
The Swede, whose colourful private life was the subject of intense media scrutiny during his tempestuous stewardship of the English national side between 2001 and 2006, has written to the Metropolitan Police through his lawyers, asking if his name or mobile phone information appears on documentation seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective convicted of illegally intercepting voicemails while working for the News of the World.
Mr Eriksson's romantic liaisons with television presenter Ulrika Jonsson in 2002 and Faria Alam, a former model and secretary at the Football Association, in 2004, aroused tabloid interest, although there is no evidence either story was obtained from phone hacking.
But the appearance of any data about Mr Eriksson, who is now manager of Championship side Leicester City, on the notebooks and computer files kept by Mr Mulcaire could lead to the commencement of proceedings against Rupert Murdoch's News International for breach of privacy or confidentiality.
The 63-year-old is one of a catalogue of coaches, players, executives, agents and pundits from English football who have become embroiled in the furore surrounding claims the eavesdropping of phone messages was a widespread tactic across the Press in the early years of last decade. After his arrest in August 2006, Mr Mulcaire pleaded guilty to hacking the voicemails of agent Sky Andrew and Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballer's Association (PFA), on 34 separate occasions between 2005 and 2006. Mr Andrew, whose clients have included England striker Jermain Defoe, is currently seeking damages against the NOTW, while Mr Taylor secured an out-of-court settlement from the paper, worth a reputed £700,000.
Three other senior figures from the game – former Sky pundit Andy Gray, former England star Paul Gascoigne and Mick McGuire, the former deputy to Mr Taylor at the PFA, have lodged claims against the Sunday tabloid at the High Court. David Davies, the former chief executive of the Football Association, last month began proceedings to require Scotland Yard to disclose what information it holds about him from Mr Mulcaire's files.
Mark Lewis, the lawyer representing Mr Eriksson, said: "Football and hacking phones are intrinsically linked. When the prosecution of Mulcaire took place, there were five non-royal victims and two were linked to football. All of these people from the world of football cannot have been [hacked by] Clive Goodman [the former NOTW royal editor]. Yet the police interviewed no one who was reporting on showbusiness or scandal or sports."
In a statement, News International said: "We have made it very clear that if we find, or are presented with, evidence of wrongdoing, we will act, as evidenced by recent events."Reuse content