Fifa publish Garcia report after 'illegal leak'

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Fifa publish Garcia report after illegal leak
Construction work is under way at Khalifa Stadium in Doha. This stadium will host some of the 2022 World Cup games. (AP file)

Zurich - Fifa placed a link to the report on its website and said its decision was made after the report was illegally leaked

By Reuters/AFP

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Published: Tue 27 Jun 2017, 9:49 PM

Last updated: Fri 30 Jun 2017, 12:27 AM

The global soccer body Fifa said on Tuesday it had decided to publish the Garcia report into the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.
Fifa placed a link to the report on its website and said its decision was made after the report, compiled by its former chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia in 2014, was 'illegally leaked' to a German newspaper.
"For the sake of transparency, Fifa welcomes the news that this report has now been finally published," it said, adding that the decision was made to "to avoid the dissemination of any misleading information."
Garcia, who is now an associate judge at the Court of Appeals for the state of the New York, spent 18 months and interviewed 75 witnesses as he investigated the convoluted bidding process for the two tournaments.
His report was not published but instead handed to the then Fifa ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who issued a 42-page summary which said there was not enough evidence to re-open the bidding process.
Garcia publicly criticised Eckert's summary and resigned one month later, in December 2014. Fifa then agreed the report could be published once all investigations against individuals had been completed.
Fifa's situation took a dramatic turn in 2015 when several dozens soccer officials were indicted on corruption-related charges in the United States, while the Swiss attorney general's office opened a criminal investigation into the award. Fifa president Sepp Blatter was later banned for six years following an internal ethics investigation. Earlier German newspaper Bild reported that a sum of $2 million was sent to the 10-year-old daughter of a Fifa official prior to Qatar being awarded the hosting of the 2022 World Cup.
The German daily is publishing from Tuesday American independent investigator Garcia's report into alleged bribery and corruption during the bidding for the hosting of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. In an extract of the article released on Monday evening, the popular tabloid claims to have got hold of the report of more than 400 pages which has never been properly published by world football's governing body.
According to Bild, in the report Garcia reveals that "a former executive committee member congratulated members of the Qatari federation and thanked them by mail for a transfer of several hundred thousand euros" just after Qatar was awarded the 2022 tournament.
"Two million dollars from an unknown source arrived in the savings account of the 10-year-old daughter of a Fifa member," add Bild.
The newspaper adds that "three executive members of Fifa with the right to vote went to a party in Rio de Janeiro in a private jet belonging to the Qatari federation before the vote to decide who would host the competition."
The Aspire Academy in Qatar, one of the biggest sports academies in the world, was also "implicated in a decisive manner in the manipulation of Fifa members who had the right to vote," the paper adds. Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup in late 2010 and the result of the vote has been the source of enormous controversy ever since.
Following Garcia's investigation, the adjudicatory chamber of Fifa's ethics committee noted that there had been suspicious behaviour during the bidding process but not enough to call into question the decision to give Qatar the 2022 finals or Russia the 2018 tournament. 

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