Blatter responds to England FA chair's call to make Garcia report public
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has reiterated his position that Michael Garcia's full investigation into the bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will not be made public, just days after English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke called for the report to be fully published, according to The Guardian.
Blatter said that he would make the report public as soon as the FA dropped its right to take legal action against FIFA.
The Guardian reported Monday that Dyke had sent a letter to FIFA's executive committee urging members to push for the release of Garcia's full report, which detailed the American attorney's investigation into alleged corruption during the bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
In his letter, Dyke -- noting that FIFA has a poor reputation in England -- says the Ethics Committee's failure to publish Garcia's findings in full would cause "a further decline in public confidence of FIFA."
Blatter, who has repeatedly said the full report will not be released, said the full report could not be released because of privacy concerns, according to The Guardian. However, FIFA has revealed the identities of witnesses in the past, and The Guardian notes that Garcia has said the full report could be released with a number of redactions.
A number of soccer executives around the world, including UEFA president Michel Platini and U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, have called for Garcia's findings to be made public.
In its summary of the Garcia report, FIFA cleared Qatar and Russia, saying the investigation into the bid process for the tournaments is closed. The summary also detailed wrongdoing by several other countries, including England.
Immediately after FIFA Ethics Committee Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert released his summary of Garcia's report last week, Garcia released a statement saying the summary did not accurately represent the full report.
“Today’s decision by the Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber contains numerous incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed in [my] report," Garcia said in the statement. "I intend to appeal this decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee.”
Eckert has since responded, saying the summary is not a whitewash.
Earlier this week, FIFA lodged a criminal complaint over the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process in Switzerland, saying that the organization suspected certain individuals acted improperly while transferring assets through the country.
- Stanley Kay