Switzerland: FIFA finally released a long awaited report on alleged corruption in awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. The 430-page report completed in November 2014 by Michael Garcia, FIFA’s then-ethics investigator had since been in the drawers.
The governing body of FIFA, under pressure decided to publish the report after it was leaked to the German tabloid newspaper Bild, which on Monday published extracts and confirmed that it had the complete report. The extracts included revelations that:
- 10 year old daughter of a FIFA members had received US$ 2 million. Garcia concluded that “no proof exists linking Qatar and this £2 million to the daughter of executive committee member – former Brazil football chief Ricardo Teixeira”.
- One former FIFA executive committee member by mail thanked Qatar for a transfer of several hundred thousand euros just after Qatar was awarded the tournament.
- Three executive members of FIFA were flown to Rio de Janeiro for a private party ahead of the vote to decide who would host the 2022 World Cup.
- “no proof had been discovered tying Platini’s vote” in favour of Doha with Qatar’s subsequent investment in France, notably the purchase of Paris Saint-Germain.
The Qatar organizers have welcomed the FIFA report, stating “We believe that the extent of our cooperation with this investigation and the conclusions drawn represent a vindication of the integrity of our bid.” The report verifies this claim of Qatar, as Garcia wrote that Qatar “may not have met the standards set out in the FIFA code of ethics or the bid rules” but added, in mitigation, that it only was due to its cooperation that the issues were uncovered.
The report which also investigated the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup, despite documenting in detail the several attempts to influence voting officials has not suggested that either Qatar or Russia should be deprived of the right to stage the tournaments. During December 2010, in a single vote in Zurich, Russia was awarded the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 World Cup.
The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee, according to the report noted that there had been suspicious behaviour during the bidding process but not enough to call into question the decision to give Qatar the 2022 finals or Russia the 2018 tournament.
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