FIFA ethics chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert said on Friday that soccer’s governing body expects to the release the findings of its investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process by mid-November.
Eckert says the full report won’t be made public. Instead of releasing the complete documents, he said FIFA will release a statement assessing the documents, which will include “conclusions and recommendations of the report, as well as a brief evaluation of the same.”
The 2018 World Cup will be played in Russia and the 2022 tournament was awarded to Qatar, but there has been speculation about how those bid were won.
A report in the Sunday Times this summer accused former Asian Football Confederation Mohamed bin Hammam of making $5 million payments to officials in return for their votes. Bin Hammam received a lifetime ban from the sport over financial wrongdoing and Qatar has denied corruption allegations.
The organization has been criticized since the investigation started, with lead investigator Michael Garcia calling for the “appropriate publication" of the report.
Eckert said that he and Garcia are not in disagreement about whether the whole report can be published.
Eckert, asked why Garcia’s report won’t be published in full, replied:
“Publishing the report in full would actually put the FIFA Ethics Committee and FIFA itself in a very difficult situation legally,” Eckert said on FIFA’s website. “What is more, 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 ethics code prevents FIFA from releasing all of the documents, and added that “personal rights must not be damaged."
- Scooby Axson