England's World Cup bid dealt blow

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:12 PM ET

If this was about an issue as simple as fan hooliganism, then, yes, the England bid for the 2018 World Cup deservedly should be penalized.

But it isn’t.

Instead, England’s hopes to land the tourney eight years down the road absorbed a severe blow because of the allegations delivered by bid chairman Lord Triesman.

Yes, Triesman should have resigned the way he did when his insistence that Spain and Russia were planning to bribe officials at next month’s World Cup became public.

And yes, it is fact that Triesman might have an ulterior motive for his actions, given that Spain and Russia also are making pitches for the 2018 tourney.

But it makes no sense that an entire soccer-mad country pay the price for one man’s suspicions.

England’s bid to host the tournament for the first time since 1966 should be considered on merit and nothing more. Of course, in the often-underhanded world of soccer, such a belief might be unrealistic.

Still, who is to say Triesman is necessarily wrong?

From the referee-bribing controversies of the past to Italy’s Serie A match-fixing brouhaha prior to the 2006 World Cup, scandals are as much part of this sport as diving and corner kicks. This is nothing new.

If England’s bid is the best, it should be rewarded the 2018 tournament. But the reality of the matter is, the odds just got lower thanks to Triesman.


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