Skip to content

Key questions remain unanswered after FIFA report into World Cup bids

World Cup trophy
Image: FIFA World Cup trophy: Bidding processes examined

The publication of FIFA's report into the investigation of the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups leaves more questions than answers, reports Sky Sports News HQ's Lia Hervey.

The highly anticipated report was billed to investigate alleged corruption surrounding both bids.

Michael Garcia , the head FIFA Investigator of their FIFA Ethics Committee was tasked to independently look into the bidding process. His deputy, Cornel Borbely was tasked with looking into the US and Russian bids. On completion, the highly anticipated report was submitted to the Chairman of the Adjudicatory chamber of FIFA Ethics Committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert.

But the transparency of FIFA was called into question when, it was revealed legally, it could not be released.

Judge Eckert claimed FIFA needed to “respect the personal rights of the people mentioned in the report”. All the public would see was an overview of the investigation report, a summary of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations of the report, as well as a brief evaluation. Today this summary was published.

Image: Michael Garcia: Made complaints

Qatar and Russia were cleared of wrongdoing and the integrity of the World Cup bid was not called into question.

Serious questions were raised about the England team’s bid.  Judge Eckert accused the England bid of trying to "curry favour" with former Vice-President Jack Warner by trying to help a person of interest to Warner find a part-time job in the UK.

More from Fifa Qatar Report

They are also accused of letting the Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 squad hold a training camp in the UK in the summer of 2009 and that they sponsored a gala dinner for the Caribbean Football Union at a cost of £35,000. Judge Eckert says England's response undermined the integrity of bidding process, although to a limited extent.

Qatar & Russia were confirmed as 2022 and 2018 hosts and cleared of corruption – and the inquiry was effectively shut down.

But then morning arrived in the USA, and a surprise statement was issued from the main investigator Michael Garcia: “Today’s decision by the Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed in the Investigatory Chamber’s report.  I intend to appeal this decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee.”

He has appealed to the FIFA Appeals Committee, where again FIFA members will review and report on whether his investigation was reported accurately. FIFA again investigate FIFA.

Image: Jack Warner: England bid said to have tried to 'curry favour' with former FIFA VP

There are many questions raised by today’s report. There were concerns raised over the conduct of certain individuals connected with the Qatar bid.

Who are those people and why should they not be named? How could the Russian bid team lose all bid documents by leaving sensitive information on computers that they simply handed back to a hire company?

Three FIFA members are alleged to have made improper requests to the England bid team. Apart from Jack Warner, who were the other two?

Also, two current senior FIFA Executive Committee members challenged the Ethics Committee’s remit and refused to give evidence. Should we not know who these people are in the interests of transparency?

A number of bid teams expressed scepticism that Ex Co members had even reviewed their bid books or evaluation reports. Should there be more information on this? Why is this legally sensitive?

FIFA investigate FIFA. FIFA investigators hand over investigation to FIFA judge. FIFA judge keeps investigation largely private. FIFA investigator does not like judge’s summary of his investigation. FIFA investigator asks members to appeal investigation.

Confused? Join the club.

Around Sky