Why weren’t Triesman’s bribery allegations followed up? asks investigative jounalist Andrew Jennings. “If Russia is guilty of bribing Spanish referees, that’s a story. Instead of going after that, they punished the source. Nobody wants to touch the real story. Russia want the World Cup in 2018, but the benefits are greatly exaggerated. South Africa don’t need a 90,000-seat stadium when people in the townships can’t afford the bus ride to get there.”
Lord Triesman, the chairman of the Football Association, resigned last week after The Mail on Sunday published a secretly recorded conversation in which he made allegations of bribery between Russia and Spain. All week, the newspaper has been loudly condemned for endangering England's bid for the 2018 World Cup, and Triesman's comments have been dismissed by sports journalists as far-fetched.
But it comes as no surprise to Andrew Jennings that Lord Triesman's comments have been widely disregarded. Sports journalists are more concerned with protecting their access than investigating stories of international corruption, he believes. However Jennings has no such reservations about investigating the higher echelons of international sport and exposing corruption wherever it may lurk.