FA inquiry is set to clear Eriksson

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The Independent Football

The England football coach, Sven Goran Eriksson, is almost certain to be cleared by the FA inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his affair with a personal assistant at the organisation.

This weekend, lawyers inquiring into the PR debacle that followed revelations of the affair were preparing their final questioning of FA staff. But, sources suggest, they are finding little evidence that Eriksson misled the FA before it issued a denial of the relationship that it subsequently had to withdraw.

Thursday's board meeting ­ called to try and conclude a farcical series of developments sparked by revelations about the PA, Faria Alam, and her relationships with Eriksson and other FA executives ­ was thought to have a majority in favour of ousting the 56-year-old manager. If the case for dismissing him without compensation evaporates, he may be entitled to claim a payout as high as £14m.

Legal niceties aside, the question may not be so much about Eriksson's relationship with a PA, but the one with his employers. Many experts are asking if recent events might have ruined it beyond repair.

There were suggestions last night that the two-week furore will also see the departure of Mark Palios, the FA's chief executive, whose chairman has already cleared him of misleading the association. It was reported that Mr Palios is so dismayed by the scale of press interest that he is preparing to quit.

Mr Eriksson's hand could be strengthened by a purported telephone "transcript" in the News of the World in which an FA official seems to pass on details of the Swede's affair with Ms Alam in return for keeping Mr Palios's name out of the newspaper. The official, when contacted by the IoS, made no comment last night.