PtG Article 28.06.2017

Garcia’s FIFA report released

FIFA has decided to publish the so-called ‘Garcia report’ investigating the circumstances surrounding the bidding for the FIFA world Cups 2018 and 2022.

For the ’sake of transparency’, FIFA has released the long-awaited Garcia-report looking into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively, said a statement from FIFA on Tuesday. The bidding process has been engulfed in reports of irregularities and corruption allegations since the awarding in 2010.

Although the full report details certain aspects of a corrupted culture within football’s governing body, the general perception among observers is that the report does not contain any ‘smoking gun’ that was not already included in the summary of the report that FIFA Ethics Committee judge Hans-Joachim Eckert issued in late 2014. This summary and FIFA’s unwillingness to release the full report made Garcia leave FIFA in protest.

“His (Garcia’s, ed. ) 349-page main report contained some startling detail on the “culture of entitlement” at Fifa, but his main findings largely tallied with the thrust of Eckert’s summary,” writes David Conn in The Guardian.

This viewpoint is backed by the New York Times.

“What the Garcia report did not have, in the end, was any hard evidence that the committees for Russia and Qatar had used bribes to secure the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, any smoking gun that might have compelled FIFA to consider moving either of the events, or reopening the bidding for them,” NYT writes.

FIFA’s release of the report comes after German newspaper BILD announced having a leaked copy of the report, which it would publish piece by piece.

From Qatar, the local organisers, the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, issued a statement welcoming the release of the report.

"We believe that the extent of our cooperation with this investigation and the conclusions drawn represent a vindication of the integrity of our bid," read the statement that also questioned the timing of the bid.

Qatar is currently in a diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

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