Eriksson: ‘Special’ England job taken through ‘lies’

Date published: Friday 7th October 2016 11:23

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has said he would be “extremely happy” to see Mazher Mahmood jailed after the Fake Sheikh was found guilty of plotting to pervert the court of justice.

Mahmood is facing jail and a string of multimillion-pound lawsuits after being found guilty of tampering with evidence in the collapsed drugs trial of pop star Tulisa Contostavlos.

Following a two-week trial at the Old Bailey, a jury on Wednesday found the 53-year-old and his driver, Alan Smith, 67, guilty.

After the verdict, it was announced that 18 civil claims were being launched against Mahmood which could total £800million.

Eriksson left his job as England manager following the 2006 World Cup, in the wake of a News of the World sting.

He had agreed in January of that year to step aside following the tournament. Eriksson was covertly recorded by Mahmood – who was posing as a wealthy Arab businessman – saying he would be willing to leave to manage Aston Villa if England won the World Cup.

Sven Goran Eriksson England

Eriksson told the Daily Telegraph: “I’ve always said the England job was the best I ever had and the story took it away from me.

“I didn’t say too much about it at the time, or afterwards, but it was painful. It is taking something special away through lies.

“If they put him in jail, then I am extremely happy, because what he has done to people is wrong.”

The Swede went on to manage Manchester City, Mexico and Leicester, and now works in China for Shanghai SIPG, but still rues the circumstances of his England exit.

Eriksson added: “It was quite clear – the official reason for me being sacked was him, the Fake Sheikh.

“If we hadn’t won the World Cup (England were knocked out in the quarter-finals), I think I would have gone anyway, but to go in this way was horrible. It was the worst thing that has happened to me in 40 years as a manager.”

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