Fifa releases report alleging corruption in Russia, Qatar bids


FIFA has published an investigation report on Tuesday that discusses about alleged corrupt World Cup biddings for 2018 Russia and 2022 Qatar.

FIFA published investigator Michael Garcia’s 430-page report in less than a day after Germany’s daily, ‘Bild’ leaked a copy of it. The report shows how voters exploited the murky system yet allowed Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Garcia completed his report in September 2014 and submitted it to the FIFA officials. Two months later FIFA released a 42-page summary that cleared Russia and Qatar of any malpractices. However, Garcia said FIFA’s version was “incomplete and erroneous” and quit his role in protest.

The report became a holy grail for FIFA critics who thought the votes that gave the World Cups to Russia and Qatar could be rerun.

Qatar’s ultimate victory over the United States tested FIFA’s bid rules to the limit. The bid team used a full range of lavishly funded State and sports agencies, plus advisors who raised Garcia’s suspicions.

Many believed Russian and Qatari bid teams must have used wrong practices to persuade FIFA executives. Some of those same FIFA officials have since been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice in a widespread racketeering case that is ongoing.

The Garcia report includes details of a two million Swiss franc payment into the account of the 10-year-old daughter of a FIFA official. However, the report does not contain any additional proof of major acts of corruption. But as Garcia said some bidders tested rules of conduct to the limit.

“A number of executive committee members sought to obtain personal favours or benefits that would enhance their stature within their home countries or confederations,” Garcia wrote.

On the other hand, the summary by FIFA states that Garcia’s team found “no evidence” that Russia’s bid team or Vladimir Putin, then prime minister, unduly influenced FIFA voters.

However, the summary report noted that Russia “made only a limited amount of documents” available to Garcia’s team. Garcia had been banned from entering Russia since 2013, the bid team’s leased computers were later destroyed and staffers’ email accounts were not retrieved from Google, according to the reports.

‘Welcoming the news for the sake of transparency’ FIFA forced publication of the Garcia Report on a rest day at the Confederations Cup –the rehearsal tournament in Russia to test its readiness for the 2018 World Cup.