Leaked Garcia report highlights dubious actions of Qatar before 2022 World Cup vote

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German newspaper Bild has obtained a duplicate of the American lawyer’s report that FIFA declined to publish

 

The long-hidden Garcia Report into the scandal-scarred bidding course of for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups doesn’t, as initially summarised, include any “smoking gun” to justify eradicating the tournaments from both Russia or Qatar.

Nevertheless the 430-page doc, obtained by the German newspaper Bild, throws into reduction what its crime reporter Peter Rossberg described, in an understatement, as some “questionable behaviour” within the run-up to the controversial vote on December 2, 2010.

Formal investigations are underneath manner in each Switzerland, the place FIFA is predicated, and France.

Earlier than the poll two members of the chief committee of world soccer’s governing physique had already been suspended after telling under-cover journalists they might commerce their votes for monetary favours.

Russia gained the preliminary vote for 2018, defeating opposition from Belgium/Holland, England and Portugal/Spain. Then Qatar, the tiny Gulf state with huge monetary assets however no World Cup observe report, beat Australia, Japan, South Korea and – within the final spherical of voting – the USA for 2022.

Since then a majority of the chief committee have been both banned or compelled out of the sport for different causes however none has ever been punished straight in reference to the 2018/2022 votes.

An escalating corruption storm led to governance reforms together with the creation of an impartial ethics committee. Its first prosecutor was American Michael Garcia, an skilled US Lawyer tasked with investigating the 2018/2022 course of.

Garcia and his then deputy, Swiss lawyer Cornel Borbely, interviewed representatives of all of the bid committees in compiling the report. All, together with each Russia and Qatar, have at all times vehemently denied wrongdoing.

FIFA’s attorneys suggested that, for authorized causes, his report couldn’t be revealed in full so a abstract was launched by German ethics choose Hans-Joachim Eckert. Garcia thought of the abstract misrepresented his work and resigned in December 2014. The report then remained underneath lock and key – till now.

Based on Bild’s first extract of the report, three exco members flew to Rio de Janeiro in a personal aircraft earlier than the vote on the expense of the Qatari Soccer Affiliation.

As well as, the paper quotes that after the vote a $2m cost was made to the account of a 10-year-old daughter of a FIFA member, reported individually beforehand as having been the then Brazilian federation president Ricardo Teixeira.

One of many exco members is known to have been Julio Grondona, the long-time president of the Argentinian federation who was the senior vice-president of FIFA and chairman of its highly effective finance committee. Grondona died in July 2014.

The huge Aspire sports activities academy in Doha, in line with Bild, was additionally “implicated in a decisive method within the manipulation of FIFA members who had the best to vote.”

On Monday, at a “midway press convention” on the Confederations Cup in Russia, the World Cup bid and organising ceo Alexey Sorokhin repeated his denial of wrongdoing after being questioned concerning the vote.

Sorokhin, who is predicted to be elected to the governing FIFA Council later this yr, stated: “We’ve run out the variety of jokes or humour about tales regarding the bid. We don’t know what else to say, we now have given 1000’s of the identical explanations. They don’t change.

“We’ve been saying the identical factor for the previous six years. There’s nothing extra to say.”

A remark has been requested from FIFA. It’s not identified how Bild got here by the report.

 

 

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