World Cup - FIFA member wanted FA Cup renamed
Mon, 30 May 22:32:00 2011
FIFA may have cleared Nicolas Leoz, their member from Paraguay, of demanding a knighthood from England's 2018 bid but a report published on Monday evening suggests his aide asked for the FA Cup to be named after him.
The knighthood claim was made in Parliament by ex-FA and bid chairman Lord Triesman - he also alleged impropriety by three other FIFA members.
The claims prompted the FA to commission an inquiry by barrister James Dingemans QC to report on any corroborating evidence.
FIFA said they have "found no elements in this report which would prompt the opening of any ethics proceedings".
Although there was no evidence Leoz himself asked for a knighthood, Dingemans' report says Leoz's aide Alberto Almirall had mentioned honours or having the FA Cup named after him.
An e-mail to bid officials from England 2018's South America-based consultant Les Dickens said: "Regarding the offer to name a cup after him, Alberto's comments were 'Dr Leoz is an old man and to go to London just to meet the Prince and go to the FA Cup final is not reason enough. If this is combined, say, with the naming of the CUP [sic] after Dr Leoz then that could be reason enough' his words literally."
In an email to Dickens, Almirall, who works for the South American confederation CONMEBOL of which Leoz is president, said: "Confidentially I know that he would love to have a decoration from the British Crown or government."
There were internal discussions in England 2018 about what honour might "properly be given" to Leoz, and Triesman said there had been talks about possibly creating an FA Disability Cup named after Leoz to honour his contribution to the Special Olympics.
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