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Sepp Blatter Is 'Fifa Mafia Family's 'Don Corleone', Says Lord Triesman

11/06/2014 15:30 BST | Updated 11/06/2014 15:59 BST

Fifa acts like a "mafia family" and president Sepp Blatter is their Don Corleone, said the former chairman of the Football Association today.

Lord Triesman, who was the initial chairman of England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup, has previously claimed four Fifa members sought bribes in return for votes.

In the light of recent media allegations of corruption in Qatar's successful bid for the 2022 World Cup, Lord Triesman stepped up his attack on Fifa, claiming attempts by Blatter to dismiss the issue was a tactic that would have been approved by The Godfather, Don Corleone.

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Blatter was likened to a mafia boss by Triesman

"Fifa, I'm afraid, behaves like a mafia family. It has a decades-long tradition of bribes, bungs and corruption," Lord Triesman said. "About half of its executive committee who voted on the last World Cup have had to go.

"Even its past president João Havelange has been removed from his honorary life presidency in his 90s.

"Systematic corruption underpinned by non-existent investigations where most of the accused are exempt from the investigation make it impossible to proceed.

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Lord Triesman stands behind Blatter during the 2018 World Cup bidding process

"Foreign construction workers dying in their dozens in Qatar stadium construction sites are essentially ignored."

Speaking during debate on the Queen's Speech in the House of Lords, he applauded the stand taken by current FA chairman Greg Dyke against the "grotesque" accusation by Mr Blatter that criticism was racist.

He told peers: "Don Corleone, I believe, would have recognised the tactics and he probably would have admired them."