17 October 2014 11:39
A full publication of Michael Garcia’s report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups is “not legally possible”, say FIFA.
Garcia was appointed to lead an investigation into the process, which saw Russia and Qatar awarded the respective tournaments back in 2010.
The decision was met with criticism in some quarters, and allegations of corruption within FIFA were consequently made.
Both Garcia and UEFA president Michel Platini have been among those calling for the findings to be made public but Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, has said that a full disclosure will not be possible from a legal standpoint.
“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,” he said.
“As things currently stand, I expect the statement to be ready by mid-November at the latest.
“Firstly, it must be pointed out that the main report has been produced not by Michael Garcia alone, but also by the deputy chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee Cornel Borbely.
“In fact, the report into Russia and the USA was produced solely by Cornel Borbely. This is because Michael Garcia was unable to take part in some parts of the investigation due to the possibility of conflicts of interest, for example in the case of the American bid [as he is a US citizen].
“Publishing the report in full would actually put the FIFA Ethics Committee and FIFA itself in a very difficult situation legally. 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 denied that Garcia had ever called for the results to be published in full, and said it was his task to ensure an “appropriate” version of the report is released.
“Michael Garcia has never said that the report should be 100 per cent published,” he said. “He merely said that the ‘appropriate’ publication of his report should be authorised.
“The deputy chairman of the adjudicatory chamber and I now have the task of drawing up this appropriate form for publication. Part of my current examination involves deciding what form this appropriate publication should take, whether this means issuing a statement regarding the investigation report or whether certain parts of the investigation report will be published while maintaining anonymity, or indeed a combination of these possibilities.
“This decision is exclusively a matter for the adjudicatory chamber – neither the investigatory chamber nor the FIFA Executive Committee can decide. The main requirement is that personal rights must not be damaged.”