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By ESPN Staff
Jan 20, 2006

Eriksson to sue over 'fake sheikh' sting

Sven-Goran Eriksson is set to pursue legal action against the News of the World for a breach of confidence after his meeting with an undercover reporter in Dubai.

The England manager told the newspaper reporter - posing as a rich Arab - he would quit as England coach if they win the World Cup this summer, and also made indiscreet comments about his senior players.

The Football Association, Eriksson's employers, stood by the Swede following the revelations last Sunday and his position is still not thought to be under threat.

'Our clients Sven-Goran Eriksson, Athole Still and Richard Des Voeux have today issued legal proceedings against The News of the World in the High Court in London for breach of confidence,' read a statement from Eriksson's legal representatives.

The meeting took place in Dubai after Eriksson was approached for a possible consultancy role in a football academy project.

At the meeting Eriksson suggested he would be prepared to become manager of Aston Villa as part of a hypothetical takeover.

He also made comments about Rio Ferdinand, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen, although after the meeting Eriksson insisted he did not have to mend relationships with any of his players.

The statement from Charles Russell LLP added: 'Last Sunday, the News of the World published a series of articles about a trip our clients made to Dubai at the invitation of an apparently legitimate company to discuss the possibility of a future sports development consultancy.

'It is now clear that this was all a highly sophisticated deception by the newspaper. The resulting articles were a gross invasion of privacy, and the discussions, which our clients were expressly asked to keep confidential, were reported out of context in a distorted and sensationalised manner so as to provide a spurious pretext for the headlines which appeared.'