19 December 2014
FIFA is to release the full report of its inquiry into the bidding processes for hosting the World Cup in Qatar and Russia, in answer to corruption allegations.
FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter has said, in an official statement, that the FIFA executive committee has unanimously agreed to the report being published.
Blatter added that various cases have been opened by the investigatory chamber against individuals for alleged rule violations and are currently under review by the adjudicatory chamber. Consequently, the report will only be published once ‘the ongoing procedures against individuals are concluded’.
Speaking of ethics and the public backlash that the body encountered after releasing the summary of the report, Blatter acknowledged that: ‘the publication of this report has become a barrier to rebuilding public confidence and trust in FIFA. Part of this is due to the fact that we have been deliberate in the way that we have moved through the process. We need to ensure that we respect the rules of our organisation and that we do not breach confidentiality in a way that will prevent people from speaking out in the future.’
While it hasn’t been declared when the full report will exactly be published, Blatter stated that the report ‘is about history and I am focused on the future. We will not revisit the 2018 and 2022 vote and a report by independent, external legal experts commissioned by Mr. Scala supports the view that there are no legal grounds to revoke the Executive Committee’s decision on the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.’
As part of this announcement, it also came to light that head of the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee of FIFA, Michael J Garcia has resigned from his post with immediate effect.
Blatter commented that he was disappointed that ‘our work with Mr Garcia has ended this way’ but added that the organisation’s commitment to ethical standards was stronger than ever.
Leo Martin, director of GoodCorporation welcomed FIFA's decision to publish the Michael Garcia report in full but added that 'it is regrettable that this was not done at the outset as the public battle has done little to reassure anyone that FIFA is committed to rooting out malpractice.'
Martin also commented on Russia's involvement: 'We would also question how Russia was allowed not to keep any records of the bidding process. Best practice amongst companies involved in commercial bidding for licences and contracts is to keep a very careful record of how that bid was managed. That this did not happen should be a real cause for concern and is something that FIFA should insist upon in the future.'