FIFA won't reopen '18, '22 World Cup vote; bid report to be released
FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced that the organization will not reopen the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, but asked FIFA's Audit and Compliance Committee to publish the inquiry report that investigated alleged wrongdoing during the bid process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.
The 2018 World Cup was awarded to Russia and the 2022 tournament bid was won by Qatar.
No date has been set for the release of the report, which was written by former FBI investigator Michael Garcia. Blatter said FIFA will release a “legally appropriate version" of the report, which is expected to be heavily redacted.
“It is clear that while a summary of the report was issued, the publication of this report has become a barrier to rebuilding public confidence and trust in FIFA,” Blatter said. “We need to ensure that we respect the rules of our organization and that we do not breach confidentiality in a way that will prevent people from speaking out in the future.”
Garcia, who was FIFA's ethics committee prosecutor, resigned on Wednesday, citing a "lack of leadership" at FIFA concerning its handling of his World Cup bid corruption investigation.
FIFA ethics committee judge Hans-Joachim Eckert's 42-page summary of Garcia's report cleared Russia and Qatar of any wrongdoing after questions of corruption and bribery surfaced concerning the two countries' World Cup bids. Garcia wanted Eckert to release the full report, but FIFA had previously said Garcia's appeal was not admissible.
FIFA said the report will only be released once “ongoing procedures against individuals are concluded.”
Despite FIFA's decision to release the full report, Blatter made it clear the organization is moving on.
"The report is about history and I am focused on the future," he said.
- Scooby Axson