Fifa World Cup report: Michael Garcia findings to be released

Fifa World Cup report: Sepp Blatter says crisis is over

Fifa executives have unanimously agreed to publish a "legally appropriate version" of a report into allegations of World Cup bidding corruption.

However, world football's governing body insisted Russia and Qatar will stay as hosts of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments respectively.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter said he asked the executive committee to vote in favour of publishing the report.

"We have always been determined the truth should be known," he said.

"That is, after all, why we set up an independent ethics committee with an investigatory chamber that has all necessary means to undertake investigations on its own initiative."

Uefa president Michel Platini called for publication of the Garcia report as soon as possible.

"I have always battled for transparency and this is a step in the right direction. Let us hope that the report can now be published as quickly as possible. The credibility of Fifa depends on it."

Only a disputed summary of Michael Garcia's 430-page report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has been published.

Blatter on 2022 World Cup:
"It would really need an earthquake, extremely important new elements, to go back on this World Cup in Qatar."

Releasing the full report, which is likely to be heavily redacted to preserve witness confidentiality, is a change in Fifa policy.

However, it will only be published once ongoing investigations into five individuals are completed.

Those five are:

  • Spaniard Angel Maria Villar, a Fifa vice-president;
  • Belgian Michel D'Hooghe;
  • Thailand's Worawi Makudi;
  • Former executive committee member Franz Beckenbauer;
  • And former Chile football leader Harold Mayne-Nicholls.

"We need to ensure that we respect the rules of our organisation and that we do not breach confidentiality in a way that will prevent people from speaking out in the future," added Blatter.

The 78-year-old Swiss insisted later that there was no reason for Russia and Qatar to lose their rights to stage future World Cups.

"At the current time, there is no reason to go back on our decisions," he told a news conference following a two-day meeting of Fifa's executive committee in Morocco.

"The two World Cups are in the calendar, the only thing missing is the precise dates for 2022, but these two World Cups will take place."

Addressing Qatar specifically, he added that only an "earthquake" could change Fifa's decision to hold the 2022 tournament in the Gulf state.

"It would really need an earthquake, extremely important new elements, to go back on this World Cup in Qatar," he said.

Qatar 2022's supreme committee for delivery and legacy of the World Cup welcomed the review, stating: "We have always been confident of our position in relation to our successful bid for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

"Since 2010 our focus has been delivering an historic first World Cup to the Middle East. That has not and will never change."

Garcia was appointed Fifa's independent ethics investigator in 2012 and spent two years investigating all nine bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups following claims of corruption and collusion.

The American lawyer travelled the world speaking to bid officials and appealing for evidence of wrongdoing.

He eventually submitted a report to Fifa in September 2014.

Fifa subsequently released a 42-page summary that cleared Russia and Qatar of corruption.

However, an unhappy Garcia claimed it was "incomplete and erroneous".

Earlier this week, he resigned, citing "lack of leadership" at Fifa.

Blatter, seeking a fifth term as Fifa president, conceded his organisation had been "in a crisis" but insisted: "The crisis has stopped because we again have the unity in our government."

Four years of controversy
2 December, 2010 - Russia and Qatar chosen to host 2018 and 2022 World Cups
4 October, 2013 - Fifa agrees to set up taskforce to look into alternative dates for 2022 World Cup in Qatar
1 June, 2014 - Sunday Times alleges ex-Fifa vice-president Mohamed bin Hammam paid £3m to football officials in return for supporting Qatari bid
5 September, 2014 - Report into 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process submitted to Fifa by Michael Garcia
13 November, 2014 - Fifa releases 42-page summary of Garcia report which clears Russia and Qatar of corruption
13 November, 2014 - Garcia claims summary of his report is "materially incomplete" and contains "erroneous representations"
20 November, 2014 - Garcia and Fifa ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert agree to release full report to organisation's compliance chief, Domenico Scala
16 December, 2014 - Fifa deems Garcia's complaint against Eckert's summary of his report is "not admissible"
17 December, 2014 - Garcia quits as independent chairman of the Fifa Ethics Committee's Investigatory Chamber
19 December, 2014 - Fifa agrees to release full Garcia report

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