Pressure builds on FIFA to make Garcia report public
Head investigator and author of the independent report on the probe into alleged corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Michael Garcia, has issued a statement calling for his report to be made public. He is supported by a number of high-ranking football officials.
During last week’s Ethics in Sport summit hosted by FIFA, Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of FIFA’s Adjudicatory Chamber was quoted by The Sunday Times for saying that the report into the alleged corruption in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process was never to be made public.
In a statement issued by his law firm, Garcia challenges these comments and urges the FIFA Executive Committee to authorize the publication of the report.
"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 authorize the appropriate publication of the report on the inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process," Garcia’s statement says according to keirradnegde.com, and continues:
“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.”
Garcia’s call for disclosure of the report findings is echoed by a number of high-ranking officials within FIFA as well as other observers.
On his Twitter profile, FIFA Vice President Prince Ali bin Al Hussein Tuesday supported Garcia’s stance on making the report public:
“In the interest of full transparency, I believe it is important that the much-anticipated report on the ethics investigation that is crucial to ensuring good governance at FIFA is fully disclosed and open to the public. This will only help the football community move ahead in reforming our institutions in the best interest of the sport. The entire football family as well as its sponsors and those who follow the game worldwide have a full right to know the contents of the report in the spirit of complete openness,” he tweeted.
Another supporter is Jérôme Champagne who is currently Sepp Blatter’s only contester for the seat as FIFA president at the elections in May 2015.
”We need to know is in the report because the World Cup is the biggest event of its kind in the world and we need to protect its ‘sanctity.’ A good legal system involves explaining publicly what has happened and why any person or persons should be indicted or not.”
“Also, we need to know because it’s an important step in rebuilding and rehabilitating the image and reputation of FIFA in public opinion,” Champagne said, writes Keir Radnedge.
"It's all-important that FIFA creates trust now. Thus transparency is needed. It's a very delicate issue and has been blown up to such a dimension that in the public the feeling that things are swept under the mat should not arise," said Swiss lawyer Mark Pieth, who headed the recently concluded FIFA reform process, according to ESPN.
FIFA Exco member and head of the American football body, Sunil Gulati has also joined the call for publication:
“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,” Gulati said according to Keir Radnegde.
“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.”
In an official statement sent out by FIFA yesterday, Eckert states that the report findings are currently being evaluated and that a public statement from the adjudicatory chamber regarding the report is likely to follow at the beginning of November.