Finally, we seem to be getting somewhere.
After FIFA stated that their internal report into the biding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would not be made public, politicians, fans and now members of their own executive committee are calling for a rethink.
[RELATED: “Qatar 2022 will not happen”]
American lawyer Michael Garcia has conducted the investigation into alleged corruption with regards to the World Cup tournament being awarded to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. The findings of the report are said to be released in March 2015, but only internally within world soccer’s governing body. Garcia has previously revealed his frustration with FIFA’s confidentiality rules and his latest comments hit back at FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert, who stated the majority of the report won’t go public.
Garcia has now called for the report to be released in full, as has the President of U.S. Soccer, Sunil Gulati, who wants the report made public. Sam Borden of the New York Times has the update from Gulati, who said the following when talking about FIFA’s secretive report.
“If we’re going to truly support the idea of transparency and change within FIFA, it has to be made public in the truest meaning of the word,” Gulati said. “That doesn’t mean only to the executive committee. It has to be more… Right now, the whole story is not about what’s in the report but whether it should be made public. And that isn’t ideal for anyone.”
Gulati is right, only full transparency will do at this point. With Sepp Blatter set to run for a fifth term in charge of FIFA and a long list of previous discrepancies and corruption charges behind members of FIFA’s ExCo, uproar over this report being made private is justified. Whether or not it will change the decision to grant the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively, is another matter, as Garcia’s report will instead call into question the conduct of individuals (which could result in criminal charges) as over 350-pages and 2,000 pieces of evidence have been collected.
Earlier this week one of Gulati’s fellow FIFA ExCo members, Theo Zwanziger, stated that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar “will not happen” due to the searing temperatures in the Middle East nation. Many believe the bidding process after the decision to award Qatar the World Cup in 2010 was corrupt but the outcome of this report is unlikely to prove that was the case.
That said, you have to applaud Gulati’s stance to fight for what he believes is right. Letting soccer fans and the general public see the information gathered about the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids is necessary. Let’s hope it happens.