In Brief

Donald Trump dossier: UK spy exposed Sepp Blatter and Fifa

US authorities are taking Christopher Steele's claims seriously because of his work on corruption at football's governing body

The ex-MI6 spy behind the so-called "dirty dossier" on Donald Trump exposed corruption at Fifa that helped bring down Sepp Blatter after he was hired by England's 2018 World Cup bid team to dig up information on their rivals, including Russia.

Christopher Steele, who has gone into hiding since his briefing containing lurid allegations against the US president-elect was published, "gathered information on football body Fifa and other countries bidding to host the tournament", reports the BBC.

Although the FA was humiliated as Russia won the right to host the tournament and the English won only two votes, The Times claims that Steele's work paved the way for "a vast investigation by the FBI into corruption at the heart of world football".

According to The Sun, Steele was hired by the FA in England to investigate Fifa ahead of the World Cup vote in December 2010 at which the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were controversially awarded to Russia and Qatar.

A slew of corruption allegations followed the decision "and with the help of Russian-speaking spook Steele, the FBI were able to indict a number of high-ranking Fifa officials", says the Sun.

Steele's work on that investigation has given weight to his claims against Trump. "Steele’s dossier was considered credible by the US intelligence services because of his work uncovering the snake pit within Fifa," explains the Sun.

The 35-page briefing, compiled by Steele using information from contacts in Russia, caused a sensation after it was published this week. The dossier contains unverified claims that Russia has compromising material on Trump, including allegations that he was filmed with a group of prostitutes in the presidential suite of a Moscow hotel.

Trump has blasted the claims as "fake news" and an "absolute disgrace". Nsubo evidence has emerged to back up the allegations. 

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