Happy Birthday to the Triesman Case
It only seems like yesterday when, in May last year, FIFA executive committee member Worawi Makudi filed charges against former English Football Association Chairman Lord Triesman for making bribery accusations.
So, twelve months down the line, how close is the good Lord from tasting the bitter brew of prison porridge? Few wall flies will have been so blessed as the one at Watson, Farley and Williams observing the response to an accusation made under Parliamentary Privilege. Rather like the “outing” of Ryan Giggs by Lib Dem MP John Hemming, Triesman cannot be touched. He Can Not Be Touched. So challenging a three hundred year old law of a very specific nature is a tough ask. For their sake, I hope they charge by the hour (or the year:)
“Legislators are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made related to one’s duties as a legislator.”
Worawi, AKA head of the Football Association of Thailand, has denied Triesman’s accusations that he demanded the television rights to a proposed Thailand and England friendly in exchange for supporting England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Interestingly, as soon as Worawi voted for someone else, the match was hastily cancelled for no believable reason, suggesting the English FA were under the same impression.
Alarm bells should have been ringing at Lancaster Gate a month before the planned fixture when Worawi telephoned Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards, to ask if the game would be honoured even if he did not vote for England. Like calling your wife saying you will be late home from work and would there be a marital issue if you slept with your secretary, Richards told him that he would wait for Worawi, but after the crushing defeat in Zurich that decision was hastily reversed.
The English FA should have seen it coming as early as the previous September when Makudi was part of a vote-trading alliance between Spain-Portugal and Qatar that he was highly unlikely to abandon, especially given his close relationship with Mohammed Bin Hamman. Talk about backing the wrong horse.
Worawi told reporters that, “the accusations are not true and groundless,”saying he, “had to speak out because my reputation has been tarnished and it defames my family.”
He was adamant that he would file charges against Triesman in a British court, but he gave no other details, probably due to the fact that he knew he couldn’t. But it proved a useful smoke screen to hide some of the other allegations made about him. The best form of defence for him seems to be attack. It’s a shame the national team haven’t been able to defend (or attack) under his guidance. Rather than explain just how it could come to be that title deed documents actually show his name owning a mortgage on land on which sits the National Football Training Centre in Bangkok, a property that has been partly built with FIFA grants, he’s threatening to sue. Like a form of legal torrets,he also threatened to sue the editors of sports daily Hot Score, who claimed he resold for profit FIFA tickets provided for free. The tickets, rather inconveniently, had Worawi’s name printed on them.
Join me next year for the second birthday party. I hope there’s cake.