England FA calls for anti-corruption cooperation

The England Football Association plans to hire more investigative staff to tackle the issue of corruption. "We have made it our priority to strengthen the Compliance Department so we can tackle the issue of corruption head on," chief executive Brian Barwick told the FA’s official website on Friday. "We are committed to thoroughly investigating any wrongdoing in the game. The department is doing an excellent job and by bringing in additional resources, we will be able to build on that work," he added after a meeting of the FA Board.

The BBC television program Panorama made accusations last week of corruption and rule-breaking by managers and agents. All the accused have denied any wrongdoing, with several raising the prospect of legal action against the BBC.

The program, which prompted the FA to launch a series of inquiries and the world football governing body FIFA to monitor a situation it said was not good for the game, was followed by claims from England manager Steve McClaren’s agent Colin Gordon that millions of pounds was leaving the game through illegal payments. However, Gordon said he did not have any evidence.

"There have been a large number of people in football making allegations of corruption through the media," Barwick added. "We want to reiterate that any participants in the game with evidence of wrongdoing have a duty to bring this evidence to our attention."