MARRAKECH (AFP) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter (EPA photo below) said a report into alleged corruption surrounding the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would be but there will be no new vote on whether Russia and Qatar would host the events.
Blatter said the FIFA executive had unanimously agreed to release a legally “appropriate version” of the report by top US lawyer Michael Garcia.
Garcia resigned on Wednesday as the football ruling body’s chief corruption investigator in protest at the handling of his report by FIFA’s leadership.
The report will be released once proceedings against individuals named in the report are finished, Blatter said after the executive committee vote.
The published report will probably have the names of witnesses who gave evidence to Garcia taken out.
Blatter said the FIFA executive agreed unanimously “to publish the report in an appropritate form once the ongoing procedures against individuals are concluded. I am pleased they have agreed”.
The names of officials facing action have not been released but European media reports have named them as Angel Villar Llona of Spain, Michel D’Hooghe of Belgium and Worawi Makudi of Thailand.
“It has been a long process to arrive at this point and I understand the views of those who have been critical,” he added.
Blatter also hinted at the criticism made of his leadership over the previous refusal to release the report and Garcia’s resignation.
“The publication of this report has become a barrier to rebuilding public confidence and trust in FIFA,” Blatter said.
The FIFA leader said that cases against individuals were being reviewed by FIFA’s adjudicatory chamber.
He added that information on the cases and Garcia’s report had been sent to the Swiss General Attorney’s office.
“But the report is about history and I am focused on the future,” Blatter declared.
“We will not revisit the 2018 and 2022 vote,” he insisted, adding that a report by independent, external legal experts “supports the view that there are no legal grounds to revoke the executive committee’s decision on the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups”.
He said changes were being made to the FIFA bidding process “so that everyone can be confident that the 2026 bidding process will be fair, ethical and open”.