Stunning developments over the weekend -- with reports in the Daily Mail at the center of the controversy -- have England's bid for the 2018 World Cup in a state of disarray.
England's bid chairman Lord Triesman has stepped down from his post amid reports that he accused rival bid countries of wrongdoing. Triesman, a former government minister, reportedly accused Russia and Spain of planning to bribe refs at this summer's World Cup.
The controversial comments came in a tape-recorded conversation with Melissa Jacobs, a private secretary who has admitted to an intimate relationship with Triesman, according to the report.
The United States, Australia, England, Russia, Belgium-Netherlands and Portugal-Spain are among the host countries vying for the 2018 or 2022 tournaments. Japan, Qatar and South Korea are bidding solely for the 2022 tournament.
Photo credit: AP | Lord Triesman, left, and Prince William at Wembley Stadium on Saturday for the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Portsmouth.