BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
As reported on Tuesday by Sports Village Square, FIFA late Tuesday night made public the previously unseen details from Michael Garcia’s 403-page report into allegations of corruption behind the bidding process for FIFA’s 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The world football governing body announced that the chairpersons of the independent Ethics Committee, Maria Claudia Rojas of the investigatory chamber and Vassilios Skouris of the adjudicatory chamber, have decided to publish the Report on the Inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup Bidding Process (the so-called “Garcia Report”).
The release, Sports Village Square gathered from other sources was sequel to the leakage of the report to German publication, Bild, which stated it had in its possession details of a $2 million that was paid to the 10-year old daughter of a FIFA official. The publication had promised to serialize the report, which undoubtedly would have boosted its sale. FIFA has now removed the wind out of the sail.
The report written by former independent ethics investigator, Michael Garcia on behalf of FIFA, courted controversy when a severely abridged version was released in 2014. In protest, the author left the Sepp Blatter – led FIFA which had watered down the original 403 report into a 42 –page document which it called the “legally appropriate version”. Based on the edited version, Qatar, the designated hosts for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, was cleared of corruption charges.
In November 2014 the head of FIFA’s ethics committee, Hans Joachim Eckert, said that his team “did not find any violations or breaches of the relevant rules and regulations” and cleared Qatar of corruption charges.
“The potentially problematic facts and circumstances identified by the report concerning the Qatar 2022 bid were, all in all, not suited to compromise the integrity of the 2018/22 bidding process as whole,” he added.
It is anticipated that the release of the full version of the report may put Qatar World Cup 2022 in grave danger. The Russian Bid was reported to have used political influence, but was cleared of corrupt practices.
The full report has it that undue influences were put on certain officials notably Belgium’s Dr. Michel D’Hooghe, Nigeria’s Dr. Amos Adamu and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.
The reports also have allegations of payments made to FIFA executive committee members from CAF prior to voting. Similar payments were also reported to have been made to other FIFA members.
The full report in three volumes can be downloaded in the links below as presented by Sports Village Square.