Coe addresses 2018 concerns

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Sebastian Coe insists England's bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup still has "solid foundations" despite chairman Lord Triesman being forced to quit in mid–May 2010.

Triesman stepped down following allegations he accused the Spanish and Russian football federations of bribery. The 66–year–old, who also vacates the same role with the Football Association (FA), announced his decision following a hastily–arranged meeting with the FA board at Wembley on the afternoon of Sunday 16 May 2010 and was replaced by Geoff Thompson, the British FIFA vice–president. Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Olympics, is also on the 2018 bid board and he and fellow 2012 veteran Sir Keith Mills spent the weekend formulating a rescue plan. Coe is understood to have briefed FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke and will speak to FIFA president Sepp Blatter about the situation. Coe said: " This has been a traumatic 48 hours but this does not become a bad bid overnight. Solid foundations are in place, we have the best venues, the most passionate fans, the best market for sponsors and an unparalleled ability to deliver this tournament in safe and secure surroundings. The only thing we don't have is the private views of the former chairman. " Allegations made in UK newspaper the Mail on Sunday suggested Triesman told a former aide that Spain was planning to bribe referees at this summer's World Cup and offer its support to Russia's bid for the 2018 World Cup if they were to help. The England 2018 World Cup bid team faxed letters of apology to both associations as they attempted to minimise the damage caused, while FA board members David Sheepshanks and Roger Burden have been drafted in as acting joint chairmen of the FA. "I have decided to resign as chairman of The FA and the 2018 Bid board, " Triesman said in a statement. "A private conversation with someone whom I thought to be a friend was taped without my knowledge and passed to a national newspaper. That same friend has also chosen to greatly exaggerate the extent of our friendship. In that conversation I commented on speculation circulating about conspiracies around the world. Those comments were never intended to be taken seriously, as indeed is the case with many private conversations. The views expressed were not the views of the 2018 bid board or the FA. "Nobody should be under any misapprehension that the FA or 2018 bid board are disrespectful of other nations or FIFA and I regret any such inference that may have been drawn from what has been reported. Entrapment, especially by a friend, is an unpleasant experience both for my family and me but it leaves me with no alternative but to resign. The 2018 FIFA World Cup bid has made enormous progress both around the world and in the technical bid in England. I wish everyone associated with FA all the very best for what is a very exciting future for the game we all love. "FIFA is yet to comment on the matter. However, the head of Russia's bid, Aleksey Sorokin, has called for football's governing body to "take appropriate measures". "It is a sign that we are going in the right direction, that the quality of our bid leaves no other alternative for our competitors but to bring up these absurd allegations, " Sorokin told Sky Sports News. About The Sport Briefing This story has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Sport Briefing. The Sport Briefing is published by PA Sport and can be found at: www. thesportbriefing. comSubscribers to Major Events International can take advantage ofexcellent discounted rates for The Sport Briefing. Sign up now to receive a 20% discount on your annual licence for TheSport Briefing. Special rates are also available for company–widesubscriptions. Subscribers receive a daily digest or up to 30 stories from across every sector of the global sports industry, access to the 24–sevenwww. thesportbriefing. com website and a hard copy of the quarterlymagazine. For more information, email info@thesportbriefing. com or call +(0) 44 207 963 7888.

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