World Cup bid findings to be released in November
Updated: 2014-10-17 21:06
People celebrate in front of a screen that reads "Congratulations Qatar" after FIFA announced that Qatar will be host of the 2022 World Cup in Souq Waqif in Doha, in this December 2, 2010 file picture. [Photo/Agencies]
LONDON - FIFA's ethics chairman will release his findings into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests next month, without making the investigation report public.
FIFA has been under pressure to release prosecutor Michael Garcia's report into the bid process that led to the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar. Garcia called last month for "appropriate publication" from the 430 pages of evidence reports submitted by his investigative team to ethics chairman Joachim Eckert.
But Eckert said publishing the report would put FIFA and its ethics committee "in a very difficult situation legally," and instead pledged to release a statement after assessing the documents by mid-November.
"The statement will contain an overview of the investigation report, a summary of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations of the report, as well as a brief evaluation of the same," Eckert said in an interview published Friday on FIFA's website.
With FIFA's reputation badly damaged by the lingering fallout from the World Cup bid votes in 2010 by its executive committee, leading executives wanted the Garcia report published.
But FIFA is citing its ethics code to prevent that from happening.
"We have to respect the personal rights of the people mentioned in the report, which in the case of full publication of the report would in all likelihood not be possible," Eckert said. "The main requirement is that personal rights must not be damaged."
Several voters in the 2010 contest have since resigned from FIFA while under investigation for financial wrongdoing, and others have been subject to accusations of seeking favors.
Mohamed bin Hammam, who was later expelled from world football over financial wrongdoing, has been accused by Britain's Sunday Times newspaper of buying influence for Qatar's 2022 bid. Qatar has denied corruption allegations and said the former Asian Football Confederation president played no role in its bid committee.