Thursday 17 January 2019

FIFA ethics investigator wants report to be published

FIFA's ethics investigator has called for his secret report into World Cup bidding to be made public.

Michael Garcia, a US attorney, said it is "necessary" for FIFA's executive committee to authorize the publication of his report into alleged corruption and claims of rule-breaking in the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The judge in charge of issuing sanctions, Hans-Joachim Eckert, said last week he would not publish the report.

Britain's FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce has joined calls from fellow executive committee members Prince Ali Bin Hussein from Jordan and Sunil Gulati from the United States for the report to be made public.

The issue is expected to be discussed at FIFA's executive committee meeting in Zurich today and tomorrow. FIFA president Sepp Blatter is due to hold a news conference tomorrow following the meeting.

Garcia said in a statement: "Given the limited role Mr Hans-Joachim Eckert envisions for the adjudicatory chamber, I believe it is now necessary for the FIFA executive committee to authorise the appropriate publication of the report on the inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process.

"Publication would be consistent with statements made by a number of executive committee members, with the view recently expressed by independent governance committee Chair Mark Pieth, and with the goals of the reform process."

Boyce, from Northern Ireland, added his voice to the calls. He said: "I fully support these views. If people have nothing to fear they should not worry about things becoming public knowledge."

Prince Ali made his remarks on Twitter while Gulati, the president of US Soccer, said: "If we're going to truly support the idea of transparency and change within FIFA, it has to be made public in the truest meaning of the word.

"That doesn't mean only to the executive committee. It has to be more.

"Right now, the whole story is not about what's in the report but whether it should be made public. And that isn't ideal for anyone."

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