UEFA president Michel Platini supports the public release of the FIFA World Cup investigation report, Platini said in a statement Thursday.
An investigator recently completed his investigation into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and submitted the report of his findings to FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert early last month. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said the report will not be made public in order to protect witness confidentiality.
"As long as the regulations of the FIFA code of ethics regarding the actual investigation are respected, I support the publishing of the Garcia report. I have no issue with the findings and recommendations of the report being made available to the public.”
The awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has faced scrutiny over alleged corruption and bribery in the bidding process, leading to the investigation.
Platini is just the latest voice to call for the report to be made public. FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne announced his support to do so late last month, as did U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati. Michael Garcia, the lead investigator on the case and the author of the report, is also in support of its release.
This isn't the first time Platini has been opposed to Blatter on an issue. While he decided he wouldn't run against Blatter in the upcoming FIFA presidential election, Platini said he refused to support Blatter's re-election. During the recent World Cup watch controversy, Platini criticized Blatter for demanding that officials return the luxury watches they received as gifts.
Eckert, who wishes the report be kept confidential along with Blatter, is expected to release his verdict in the investigation next spring.
- Ben Estes