By Chris Wright
Gary Lineker has done the remarkably decent thing and quit his column for The Mail On Sunday, in protest over the paper’s ‘sting’ on Lord Triesman.
The Mail reportedly paid £75,000 to Melissa Jacobs for a recording she made of Triesman in which he suggested that the Russian and Spanish bid teams for the 2018 World Cup may conspire to bribe the officials at the South African World Cup this summer.
The resultant furore has cost Triesman his job as the chairman of the Football Association and as chairman of England’s bid to secure the 2018 World Cup and Lineker, who has been penning his weekly column for the Mail for six months now, has admitted that his former employer’s actions were simply unacceptable;
“The story itself, the circumstances surrounding it and the actions of the Mail on Sunday in publishing it have undermined the bid to bring the World Cup to England in 2018.
I wholeheartedly support the bid, because I believe that hosting the tournament would be brilliant for the country, and I am an official ambassador for it. I have therefore taken the view that I cannot continue as a columnist for the Mail on Sunday.”
Lineker’s agent, Jon Holmes, backed his client’s view in rather stronger terms;
“The story showed crass judgment, it had dubious journalistic merit, was clearly obtained by entrapment, and was timed to do the maximum damage to the World Cup bid, which Gary and all football fans in this country passionately support.
We wanted to make our position clear and to do all we can now to help persuade Fifa that England is the best country to host a great World Cup in 2018.”
Nice one Gary. I knew you weren’t all bad.