LONDON (AP) — The latest in a series of resignations from The Football Association could prove the most damaging, with chairman David Triesman's downfall leaving England's 2018 World Cup bid in turmoil.
Triesman was forced to quit — not the first scandal to beset the scandal-filled power base of English soccer.
A former civil service aide, who claims to have had a relationship with the married Triesman, secretly recorded their conversations in a restaurant two weeks ago for The Mail on Sunday.
Triesman was caught on tape accusing 2018 bid rivals Spain and Russia of conspiring to bribe referees at this year's World Cup, an indiscretion that will prove hard for the 24 FIFA voters to forget ahead of the December vote.
But as the English bid team tries to rebuild its tarnished reputation while searching for a new leader, the circumstances are all-too familiar for FA officials.
Chief executive Mark Palios was forced to resign in 2004 after becoming embroiled in a sex scandal that also involved coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Both had an affair with an FA secretary, Faria Alam, which was exposed in the tabloids. While Eriksson survived, Palios was forced to quit after it emerged that FA officials attempted to protect him at the expense of the Swede.
Eriksson's love life first hit the headlines in April 2002, when tabloids revealed he had an affair with Swedish-born television celebrity Ulrika Jonsson while he was in a long-term relationship with Italian lawyer Nancy Dell'Olio.
Triesman leaves the Wembley Stadium hot seat with the FA also searching for its fifth chief executive in 10 years after Ian Watmore quit in March amid a power struggle.
Brian Barwick left the same job at the end of 2008 after disagreements with Triesman over the scope of his role.
And Adam Crozier resigned in 202 amid criticism that he had turned English football's governing body into a one-man show as he tried to push through marketing plans and changes to the structure of the national game.
Graham Kelly was forced out in 1998 amid suggestions his chairman promised a loan to the Welsh Football Association in order to gain a high-ranking FIFA position.