Reports: FIFA broke promises of confidentiality to corruption whistleblowers


If FIFA is a gang and Sepp Blatter its leader, their report on Michael Garcia’s corruption report has a bit of a “Don’t snitch” feel to it.

Still “under fire” for not releasing Garcia’s full report on the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, FIFA is now facing grief from two of the “whistleblowers” who inspired the investigation in the first place.

That’s because while FIFA cares a great deal for protecting the anonymity of people who may or may not have committed crimes, the organization barely tried to shield at least two people who helped the investigation: Qatar worker Phaedra Almajid and former Australia assistant Bonita Mersiades.

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FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert’s report cleared Qatar and Russia, but criticized Australia and England. Basically, it seems like if you came at Sepp Blatter, you’re getting your unjust desserts.

From the BBC:

Almajid worked as an international media officer for the Qatar 2022 bid team before losing her job in 2010, while Mersiades was the head of communications for Australia’s 2022 bid before leaving in 2010.

They issued a joint statement criticising Eckert.

“Although not named in the report, we were clearly identifiable and within hours of its publication had been widely unmasked as the ‘whistleblowers’ in German, British and Australian media,” it read.

Garcia has already stated he intends to appeal against Eckert’s report to Fifa. Garcia and Eckert are due to meet on Thursday.

And from an Associated Press article on Almajid:

She said Eckert’s report denounced her as unreliable in a “crude, cynical and fundamentally erroneous” summary of her cooperation.

“My cooperation was based on your promise of confidentiality,” Almajid wrote to Garcia.

Don’t snitch.

In other news on the subject, Garcia is being advised to just leak the report and get fired and an England official involved with the bidding in 2010 called it the “Wild West”.

FIFA’s strategy appears to be similar to past allegations: wait out the firestorm, then release tepid comments once the furor has died down a bit. After all, no one one really wants to risk anything that could damage a World Cup, right?