FIFA discloses damaging Qatar World Cup bid report
LAUSANNE: FIFA on Tuesday released a long-witheld report on the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup after more leaks deepened the controversy surrounding the vote.
World football’s governing body had previously declined to publish in full the report into the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 edition to Qatar drawn up by US independent investigator Michael Garcia.
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.
FIFA said it was already considering releasing the full report prior to the latest disclosures.
“However, as the document has been illegally leaked to a German newspaper, the new chairpersons (of the committee) have requested the immediate publication of the full report…in order to avoid the dissemination of any misleading information,” FIFA explained in a statement on its website.
“For the sake of transparency, FIFA welcomes the news that this report has now been finally published.”
Garcia had resigned as head of FIFA’s investigatory body in December 2014 in protest after FIFA released a 40-page sanitised summary of his report which he disowned, describing it as “incomplete and erroneous.”
The full report referred to an array of suspect financial dealings including the sum of $2 million allegedly sent by a consultant for the Qatar bid, Sandro Rosell, to the 10-year-old daughter of a FIFA official. The payment was described by an associate as the proceeds from a real estate deal.
Rosell is the ex Barcelona president who is being investigated for money laundering related to the sale of the Brazilian national football team’s television rights.
The 400-page report also revealed that one former FIFA executive committee member thanked Qatar by mail for a transfer of several hundred thousand euros just after Qatar was awarded the 2022 tournament.
The report also documents that three executive members of FIFA were flown to Rio de Janeiro for a private party ahead of the vote to decide who would host the 2022 World Cup.
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.