FIFA publishes full internal report into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process after German newspaper leak
FIFA has taken the dramatic step of publishing a controversial internal report into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process after it was leaked to a German newspaper this week.
Produced by FIFA’s chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia in 2014, the report’s contents have been kept secret until Bild obtained a copy and started publishing it on Tuesday.
The first set of revelations from the so-called Garcia report were not particularly new but still painted a bleak picture of the background to the infamous 2010 vote that gave the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
More damning revelations about the Qatari bid, however, were expected from Bild on Wednesday, only for FIFA to spike its guns by publishing the whole report on its website.
In a statement, FIFA said the new bosses of its independent ethics committee, chief investigator Maria Claudia Rojas and lead judge Vassilios Skouris, had taken the decision.
It said FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the current members of the FIFA Council had been calling for this move for over a year but had been blocked by the predecessors of Rojas and Skouris, Cornel Borbely and Hans-Joachim Eckert, who were unceremoniously replaced last month.
Borbely co-authored the report with Garcia and Eckert wrote a highly contentious 42-page “summary” of the report which Garcia immediately disowned, before resigning.
The FIFA statement added: “The ethics committee will meet in its full composition under the new chairpersons for the first time next week, and it was already planned to use this opportunity to discuss the publication of the report.
“However, as the document has been illegally leaked to a German newspaper, the new chairpersons have requested the immediate publication of the full report (including the reports on the Russian and US bid teams, which were conducted by Mr Borbely alone) in order to avoid the dissemination of any misleading information.
“For the sake of transparency, FIFA welcomes the news that this report has now been finally published.”