FIFA’s handling of the process is flawed and incomplete
Transparency International says FIFA’s handling of the investigation into the bidding for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022 is flawed and incomplete, and the anti-corruption group called for the full report to be published today.
In the statement by Hans Joachim Eckert, the chair of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee, admitted that Michael Garcia, head of the investigation chamber of the Ethics Committee, was not able to use all the investigative powers that he would have liked. Nevertheless Eckert concluded from the investigation that awarding of the World Cups to Russia and Qatar was fair. But Garcia has since said Eckert’s statement misrepresents his report and he will appeal the decision to FIFA.
Sylvia Schenk, head of the Working Group on Sport at Transparency International Germany said: “FIFA needs to understand that a simple summary of an investigation will not draw a line under the allegations surrounding the awarding of the World Cups. Transparency International calls for the full report to be published immediately."
Two key aspects of the statement reinforce the need for real reform at FIFA. Both the head of the investigatory and adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee recommended top FIFA officials have term limits and key reforms to the bidding process.
Term limits would mean that Sepp Blatter, the current president, would not be able to stand again. (The FIFA Congress rejected term limits this year paving the way for Blatter the current president to run for fifth term in office.)
“What the statement highlights is the need for a culture change at FIFA. Term limits, for example, would preclude Sepp Blatter running again, and there needs to be independent experts and objective criteria in the bidding and awarding processs, which would give it far greater transparency and credibility," said Schenk.
Two bidders, Australia and England, who cooperated fully with the investigation, were admonished in the report for unethical behaviour for currying favour with FIFA executive committee members. Russia said it was unable to cooperate fully because the computers used to prepare its bid were later destroyed.
Transparency International published a roadmap for reform at FIFA, Safe Hands, in 2011 calling for greater independent oversight and term limits for senior executives. It also called for changes in the bidding process for the World Cup.
For any press enquiries please contact
Manger, Rapid Response Unit
+ 44 20 8960 2526