A 350-page report on the investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will not be made public, FIFA president Sepp Blatter vowed on Friday.
The report is expected to provide new insights into the corruption and bribery allegations surrounding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. If FIFA is going to take the World Cup away from Qatar — as at least one executive believes — this report could be the catalyst.
The investigator in charge, Michael Garcia, has urged FIFA to publish the entire report. So has U.S. soccer official and FIFA executive committee member Sunil Gulati.
Instead, only the adjudicatory committee’s “position with regard to the general report” will be made public after the report is presented to FIFA’s independent ethics committee, Blatter says. The public will get an interpretation of the report’s findings, in other words, but not the actual report itself.
In June the Times published a bombshell report accusing disgraced ex-FIFA executive Mohamed Bin Hammam of paying out $US5 million in alleged bribes to win support for Qatar’s bid. Those allegations, in addition to complaints about heat, stadium infrastructure, and the country’s human rights record have forced FIFA to defend its decision to give Qatar the World Cup.
FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanzinger shocked the soccer world earlier in September when he said he thought the World Cup wouldn’t take place in Qatar. While momentum seems to be building, it will take a smoking gun for FIFA to act.
The Garcia report will go a long way toward deciding the tournament’s fate, and only a handful of people will actually get to read it.
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