Lord Triesman and the 10 craziest football conspiracy theories

FA chairman Lord Triesman is in hot water today after suggesting that Russia could help Spain bribe referees at this summer's World Cup in return for Spain withdrawing its own bid to host the 2018 World Cup .

Triesman immediately quit as England's bid chief as the Football Association attempted to distance itself from the furore which was sparked when the 66-year-old's comments in a private conversation were reported by a Sunday newspaper.

It's a massive blow to England's hopes of hosting the finals for the first time since 1966 and comes just days after David Beckham delivered the FA's bid book to FIFA.

But it far frpm the first time football has got its collective knickers in a twist over a conspiracy theory...

10) Coventry 2-2 Bristol City, First Division, May 1977
With both sides in desperate relegation trouble on the last day of the season, the match at Highfield Road kicked off 15 minutes late – allegedly to let in fans held up by traffic. Towards the climax of the second half, as both teams tried to improve on the 2-2 scoreline, news came through that Sunderland had been beaten by Everton. Therefore both sides would stay up if their score remained the same. Officials at Highfield Road immediately announced the result over the Tannoy system and on the scoreboard, so both sets of players played out the remaining minutes without attempting to score. The point was enough to keep both teams in the top-flight and send Sunderland down.

9) Juventus 3-1 Derby, European Cup semi-final, April 1973
Derby boss Brian Clough ended this controversial clash by branding the Italians "cheating bastards." His anger stemmed from the fact that both Roy McFarland and Archie Gemmill were booked, ruling them out of the return leg, and Juventus’ substitute Helmut Haller was seen deep in conversation with his fellow countryman, German referee Gerhard Shulenburg, both before the game and at half-time fuelling suspicions that he had been bribed. Later revelations that the referee for the second leg, Portuguese Francisco Lobo, was approached by a man named Dezso Solti, who had offered Lobo inducements to favour Juventus, did little to dispel the doubts about the first match.

8) Inter Milan 3-0 Liverpool, European Cup semi-final, April 1965
A highly contentious defeat that robbed Liverpool of their first chance of European glory. Having won the first leg at Anfield 3-1, the Reds were favourites to go through but they were beaten 3-0 in front of 90,000 fans in the San Siro. Ian St John saw one legitimate goal chalked off, while Spanish referee Jose Maria Oritz de Mendibil allowed two controversial Inter goals to stand. One Liverpool director responded by claiming that "they are never going to let a British team win the European Cup."

7) Leeds 0-2 Bayern Munich, European Cup final, May 1975
One of the most tumultuous periods in Leeds' chequered history ended in controversial fashion in Paris. Having picked up the shattered pieces of Brian Clough's inglorious reign at Elland Road, Jimmy Armfield steered the side to the European Cup final, but their dreams of glory were dashed amid a refereeing cheat storm. The Germans won 2-0 on the night, but not before ref Michel Kitabdjian had ruled out Peter Lorimer's valid goal and denied Leeds two clear-cut penalties.

6) Newcastle 3-0 Liverpool, First Division, November 1993
An Andy Cole hat-trick in a comfortable win for Newcastle seemed to sum up the whole story of this match. A year later though, when Liverpool keeper Bruce Grobbelaar was accused of match fixing to benefit a betting syndicate, his part  - or lack of it - in the striker's treble came under much closer scrutiny. Grobbelaar pleaded not guilty to the charges and, after two successive trials in which the jury could not agree on a verdict, he and his two co-defendants were eventually cleared in November 1997.

5) Anderlecht 3-0 Nottingham Forest, UEFA Cup semi-final, April 1984
Not exactly a conspiracy theory in this case, more a proven case of bribery. Brian Clough's Forest side had won the first leg at the City Ground 2-0 and looked nailed on to reach the final, only to go down 3-0 in the return match in Belgium, having seen what appeared to be a perfectly good goal ruled out. Anderlecht later admitted they had paid Spanish official Emilio Guruceta Muro £20,000 as "a loan" before the game.

4) World Cup finals build-up, May 1970
Just weeks before England were due to begin the defence of the World Cup in Mexico, captain Bobby Moore fell foul of the law during a pre-tournament trip to Colombia. The West Ham star was arrested in Bogota and charged with stealing an emerald bracelet from a hotel shop. All charges were later dropped and files released two years later suggest the incident was a deliberate sting on the part of the Colombian secret services.

3) England 2-3 West Germany, World Cup quarter-final, Mexico 1970
Disaster struck on the eve of England's last eight clash against West Germany in Mexico in 1970 when first choice goalkeeper Gordon Banks was laid low by food poisoning. The conspiracy theorists were convinced Banksie had been 'nobbled' by someone in the team hotel - a view he later refuted - but the facts were he missed the match, his replacement Peter Bonetti had a shocker and England crashed out.

2) England 2-0 Scotland, European Championship finals, 1996
Leading 1-0 and seemingly coasting to victory, England could have been undone after conceding a penalty 14 minutes from time when Tony Adams felled Gordon Durie. Up stepped Gary McAllister, only to recoil in horror when David Seaman saved his spot-kick. TV replays later revealed a small movement of the ball just before the Scot struck it - and mentalist Uri Geller subsequently claimed he had been responsible for the deviation by willing the ball to move with his mind.

1) West Ham 2-1 Tottenham, Premier League, May 2006
In an incident that became known as 'Lasagna-gate', six Spurs' stars, including goalkeeper Paul Robinson and midfield ace Michael Carrick, ended up with dicky tummies after their pre-match meal at the Marriott Hotel in London's Docklands. Food samples were taken from the kitchen, but any suggestion of deliberate tampering proved unfounded. Spurs lost the following afternoon at Upton Park, allowing arch-rivals Arsenal to pip them for the fourth and final Champions League place.

Gunners' fans, in typically sympathetic style, responded by coining the chant...

Lasagne woah!
Lasagne woah!
We laughed ourselve to bits,
When Tottenham had the s**ts,
Lasagne woah!

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