Fifa member 'wanted FA Cup to be named after him'

Robin Scott-Elliot
Tuesday 31 May 2011 00:00
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An adviser to Nicolas Leoz, a member of Fifa's Executive Committee, suggested that the FA Cup be named after the Paraguayan
An adviser to Nicolas Leoz, a member of Fifa's Executive Committee, suggested that the FA Cup be named after the Paraguayan

An adviser to Nicolas Leoz, a member of Fifa's Executive Committee, suggested that the FA Cup be named after the Paraguayan during email discussions with a consultant to England's 2018 bid.

Leoz was one of the four Ex-Co members accused by Lord Triesman during evidence to a parliamentary committee last month but cleared by a Football Association report submitted to Fifa last week. The world governing body last night published the 33-page summary of the report by James Dingemans, which the Fifa president Sepp Blatter declared yesterday required no further action.

During his extraordinary press conference at Fifa's HQ here yesterday, Blatter said: "There are no elements in this report that would prompt any proceedings."

Nevertheless Dingemans did not deliver the verdict that Fifa appear to be claiming. The detail of the background to Triesman's claim that Leoz had asked for a knighthood – which he denies – does little to counter an impression of a body in desperate need of reform.

Dingemans publishes an email from Les Dickens, who acted as a part-time consultant for England 2018, in which he quotes Alberto Almirall, an advisor to Leoz. The email says: "He [Almirall] brought up the subject again, about some kind of honour/recognition for Dr Leoz. Regarding the offer to name a cup after him Alberto's comments were 'Doctor Leoz is an old man and to go to England just to meet the Prince and go to the cup final is not reason enough. If this is combined with, say, the naming of the cup after Dr Leoz then that could be reason enough' his words literally."

The allegations against Jack Warner, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi made by Triesman, who is the former chairman of the FA and was involved in the bid before his resignation in May of last year, were not found to have enough substance to warrant further action. But Blatter did not mention Dingemans saying that he had "identified some lines of inquiry that might be pursued."

Dingemans also wrote "there is a need for greater transparency in the bidding process... there is a need for an updated and detailed code of ethics... there is a need for a system whereby the relevant rules can be seen to be enforced in a transparently independent manner."

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