Federation Internationale de Football Association releases 2018, 2022 World Cup bids probe report


Previously unseen details from Michael Garcia's 403-page report into allegations of corruption behind the bidding process for FIFA's 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be published Tuesday.

But FIFA's hand was forced when German tabloid newspaper Bild said it had obtained the full report and released extracts on Monday, including revelations that a 10-year-old daughter of one FIFA member had received $2 million in her bank account.

The report also allegedly 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.

Regarding the eventual vote tallies received in the World Cup vote, the Garcia Report noted: "A Federation Internationale de Football Association press release confirmed that while Qatar received no fewer than 10 votes in any round of voting for the 2022 hosting rights, Spain/Portugal received seven votes in both rounds of voting for".

Maria Claudia Rojas of FIFA's Ethics Committee investigatory chamber and Vassilios Skouris of the adjudicatory chamber were behind the decision to release the report, with the backing of president Gianni Infantino.

Allegations of corruption have dogged Qatar's successful bid to win the right to host the 2022 World Cup since the stunning announcement was made in Zurich in December 2010.

"Statements such as those found in the official minutes, as well as other connections between government entities and the bid team, have helped create an appearance of impropriety".

Former U.S. attorney Michael Garcia probed FIFA's bidding process in 2014 after accusations that its executives were bribed for their votes.

It will not change where the next two World Cups are hosted. even though it will heap more shame on the bidding process.

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FIFA had previously blocked its publication in 2014 but football's governing body chose to reveal all for "complete transparency" after German paper Bild claimed to have a copy they were planning to publish.

Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup has entered the firing line in a diplomatic dispute with its Gulf neighbours after a Saudi think tank said the country should be stripped of its right to host the tournament for ethics violations.

"Those points are strong evidence that FFA made improper payments meant to influence the vote of an executive committee member", Garcia's report stated.

The 430-page document, written in 2014, has never been made public, with a "legally appropriate" 42-page version published by former Ethics Committee judge Hans-Joachim Eckert in December of the same year.

Blatter stepped down in 2015 and was subsequently banned from soccer for six years following an internal ethics investigation.

As a result, Secretary General Valcke acknowledged, by rescheduling the World Cup "potentially we are losing money and we are making less money because we are not running an open process in the USA market, giving a chance to other channels to bid for and we just extend with FOX for the same amount of money".

The Russia Bid Committee made only a limited amount of documents available for review, which was explained by the fact that the computers used at the time by the Russia Bid Committee had been leased and then returned to their owner after the Bidding Process.

"Aspire Academy was... a valuable asset for Qatar's bid team... it was [a] strategy to use that facility as a means to confer benefits on Executive Committee members", Garcia wrote.

The full report vindicates Eckert's assessment that no firm case for direct corruption can be levelled against any bidder.