NOT one ball has been kicked but Spain and England have already become embroiled in a mass brawl.
Enraged Spanish football chiefs have branded bribery allegations at this summer’s World Cup as “ridiculous”.
Disgraced FA chairman Lord Triesman was forced to quit after he was taped accusing Spain and Russia of planning to pay off officials.
Duped by an ‘entrapment’ ruse, Triesman suggested that Spain and Portugal may withdraw its bid to host the 2018 World Cup if fellow applicants Russia helped it to bribe referees.
Now, incensed Spanish and Portuguese authorities have hit back labelling the accusations “absurd and unfounded”.
“This kind of story is indicative of an uneasiness on the part of England. It is absurd and unfounded.”
“The idea Spain is trying to bribe World Cup referees is ridiculous,” said Spanish football federation secretary general Jorge Perez Arias.
“We like to compete and participate fairly and try always to do the best we can.”
Gilberto Madail, president of the Portuguese FA, added: “This kind of story is indicative of an uneasiness on the part of England. It is absurd and unfounded.”
Triesman’s claims came less than two days after England submitted its own bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
And many believe that England’s application has now been left in tatters.
Head of Russia’s bid, Aleksey Sorokin called for world football’s governing body Fifa “to take appropriate measures”.