With 2018 and 2022 quickly approaching, spectators and pundits are all looking at the alleged corruption stemming from countries who are placing bids for future World Cups. IFA president Sepp Blatter is planning on releasing a full version of corruption reports in “an appropriate form” for all to view in some time.
The report, once released to the public, will feature individuals who were featured in the IFA’s proceedings. Blatter said in a statement on Friday, “I am pleased they have agreed. It has been a long process to arrive at this point and I understand the views of those who have been critical.” IFA’s governing executive committee voted unanimously to release the document.
“We have always been determined that the truth should be known,” Blatter said. “That is, after all, why we set up an independent Ethics Committee with an investigatory chamber that has all [the] necessary means to undertake investigations on its own initiative.” Drafted and drawn up by U.S. lawyer Michael Garcia, the report comes after he resigned in protest at the handling of the inquiry by FIFA’s leadership.
Garcia was pushing to publish the report unedited, while FIFA wanted to push out a redacted version of Garcia’s report. In it, the account would help others to learn just what happened during the tournament when Russia and Qatar were awarded respectively. Garcia spent 18 months investigating allegations of corruption in the bidding process, during which he interviewed 75 witnesses. Early in November, FIFA’s ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert issued a 42-page summary based on Garcia’s report which identified numerous cases of “inappropriate conduct” cases.
Ultimately, there was not enough evidence to justify re-opening the bidding process.
Blatter reiterated in last Friday’s statement that the bidding process for the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would not be re-opened. “We will not revisit the 2018 and 2022 vote and a report by independent, external legal experts commissioned by Mr. Scala supports the view that there are no legal grounds to revoke the Executive Committee’s decision on the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups,” he said.
FIFA originally said it would not publish the 430-page report for legal reasons.
SOURCE: Sports Business Daily