Sports

FIFA ethics chief to make 2018, 2022 World Cup statement

PARIS: FIFA ethics chief Hans-Joachim Eckert will make a public statement Thursday over the inquiry into the controversies plaguing the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The author of the report, former US federal prosecutor Michael Garcia has long campaigned for the details to be made public as concerns rocket over allegations of corruption in the two events being staged by Russia and Qatar respectively.

“Chairman of the Ethics Committee’s adjudicatory chamber (Hans-Joachim Eckert) confirms statement will be made public on Thurs 13 Nov at approx. 10am CET,” said FIFA on its Twitter account.

“Tomorrow’s statement relates to investigatory chamber’s inquiry on 2018/22 #WorldCup bidding process. It will be published @FIFAcom.”

In a break with FIFA tradition, the 2018 and 2022 tournaments were awarded at the same time, in 2010, leading to claims of horsetrading in the bidding process.

The 350-page Garcia report was handed to FIFA on September 5.

It summed up a year-long investigation that involved interviewing more than 75 witnesses and compiling a dossier with more than 200,000 pages and audio interviews.

Several high-profile figures have called for FIFA to publish Garcia’s report, including UEFA president Michel Platini and FIFA vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein.

Only last month, Garcia criticised FIFA’s lack of transparency.

“The investigation and adjudication process operates in most parts unseen and unheard,” he said.

“That’s a kind of system which might be appropriate for an intelligence agency, but not for an ethics compliance process in an international sports institution that serves the public and is the subject of intense public scrutiny.

“Transparency is not intended to embarrass certain individuals by airing dirty laundry or to harm the organisation by showing what went wrong. It’s the opposite.” – AFP

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