FIFA has released the previously confidential Garcia report into alleged corruption surrounding the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process.
Previously the report, compiled in 2104 by American lawyer Michael Garcia, was said to be private and would never be released by FIFA.
Garcia, hired as an independent ethics investigator, quit when FIFA instead released a 42-page version of his report which acted as a summary of his findings, as he clashed with FIFA’s now former chairmen of the ethics committee, Cornel Borbely and Hans-Joachim Eckert.
However, German publication Bild had got hold of a copy of the full report and leaked extracts on Tuesday.
Now, world soccer’s governing body has got ahead of the game and released the report in full as Garcia looked into potential corruption among FIFA officials and high-ranking officials during the World Cup bidding process which saw Russia awarded the 2018 World Cup and the 2022 World Cup heading to Qatar.
Both Russia and Qatar were cleared of any wrongdoing in the initial report released, but there are detailed examinations of each country who bid for the World Cups, including the U.S., England and Australia.
Below is a statement from FIFA in full, while you can download the full report here.
The new chairpersons of the independent Ethics Committee, Maria Claudia Rojas of the investigatory chamber and Vassilios Skouris of the adjudicatory chamber, have decided to publish the Report on the Inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup Bidding Process (the so-called “Garcia Report”).
This had been called for on numerous occasions by FIFA President Gianni Infantino in the past and also supported by the FIFA Council since its meeting in Mexico City in May 2016. Despite these regular requests, it is worth noting that the former chairpersons of the Ethics Committee, Cornel Borbély and Hans-Joachim Eckert, had always refused to publish it.
The Ethics Committee will meet in its full composition under the new chairpersons for the first time next week, and it was already planned to use this opportunity to discuss the publication of the report. However, as the document has been illegally leaked to a German newspaper, the new chairpersons have requested the immediate publication of the full report (including the reports on the Russian and US bid teams, which were conducted by Mr Borbély alone) in order to avoid the dissemination of any misleading information.
For the sake of transparency, FIFA welcomes the news that this report has now been finally published.