FIFA hired an outside investigator to conduct a probe into allegations of bribery in the bidding process for the Russia and Qatar World Cups. That investigator, a former U.S. federal prosecutor, has finally submitted his findings to FIFA with the expectation that they would eventually be released to the public. But FIFA says hold up, don't you folks worry about what may or may not be in that report.
Michael J. Garcia spent nearly two years compiling his report, which runs 350 pages plus 200,000 pages of evidence. Earlier this month he finally submitted it to FIFA's chief judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who will review it before deciding on any course of action. But last week Eckert confirmed that the actual report will remain secret, and only his own summary will be made public. So today, Garcia released a statement calling for FIFA to show some transparency for once in its damn life.
"Given the limited role Mr. Hans-Joachim Eckert envisions for the Adjudicatory Chamber, I believe it is now necessary for the FIFA Executive Committee to authorize the appropriate publication of the Report on the Inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup Bidding Process. Publication would be consistent with statements made by a number of Executive Committee members, with the view recently expressed by Independent Governance Committee Chair Mark Pieth, and with the goals of the reform process."
Garcia is joined by assorted exco members, including U.S. Soccer head Sunil Gulati, in calling for the report's release. Michael, you wrote the damn report. Just give it to us and we'll put it out there for you.
Meanwhile, FIFA is nicely asking its exco members to return the $26,500 watches they all received at the World Cup.