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Lord Triesman, Steve Curry and Privacy Law- A Recipe for Disaster?

Rob Illidge (Marketing Execuitve)

It’s that time again, whether England are looking to host the world up or ‘bring it home’, there is always something in the media to scupper even the most optimistic England fan’s hopes and dreams.

I am talking of course about the recent news that FA Chairman Lord Triesman, has resigned from his position after being secretly recorded making bribery allegations about Russia and Spain’s attempts to secure the 2010 tournament.

It has since been alleged that The Mail on Sunday paid Melissa Jacobs, a ‘friend’ of Lord Treisman’s, to set up the meeting and recording. Cue a national scandal, the bid is ruined e.t.c…e.t.c

However, Steve Curry of The Daily Mail went one further yesterday morning whilst being interviewed by Sky Sports News, describing Mr Triesman as a “vain FA chief” who “wasn’t right for the bid anyway”. Surely he would not have made these comments had the recording not been published, it certainly is one way of kicking someone whilst they are down.

Mr Curry admitted that the Daily Mail is not backing England’s bid to host the world cup, an event that could bring in over £2bn, and that despite this being a private conversation it was in the ‘public interest’ to release them.

This poses just one question to hotel owners; construction companies, airports, restaurants, bars and football fans alike- Would you prefer England to host the world cup or listen to Lord Triesman’s comments about Russia and Spain attempting to fix the world cup?

Gary Lineker yesterday quit his weekly Mail column in protest at the leaked story, commenting “The story itself, the circumstances surrounding it and the actions of the Mail on Sunday … have undermined the bid. I believe that hosting the tournament would be brilliant for the country, and I am an official ambassador for it.”

Partner at Ralli, David Potts explains the Privacy Law surrounding this debacle.

“How Lord Triesman must, for once, have wished that he was either French or on French soil when he made his comments.  French law takes a much more strident view of its citizen’s right to privacy whereas English law, despite the Human Rights Act, seeks to balance a person’s right to privacy and the public interest in information like this being available to the general public.

Lord Triesman, the FA and the 2018 bid committee (apart from being hugely embarrassed) must all have their legal teams looking at the implications of Lord Triesman’s comments.  Whilst he has said that his comments were his alone and his private views, at the time he was both the chairman of the FA and the 2018 bid committee.  Liability could potentially attach to all three.

Whilst everyone expects a response (legal or otherwise) from the Russians and the joint Spanish/Portuguese factions, it seems neither Lord Triesman nor the 2018 bid committee have apologised to the Referees Society (whose members are implicitly thought to be capable of being bribed”.