Blatter rejects demands to publish World Cup report

Blatter rejects demands to publish World Cup report

ZURICH: FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Wednesday rejected demands to publish the potentially explosive report into long-standing allegations of corruption surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.

Greg Dyke, the head of the English Football Association, wants the report compiled by former US federal prosecutor Michael Garcia to be made public.

But Blatter insists that to do so would compromise Swiss privacy laws.

“FIFA would violate not only its own rules and regulations but also Swiss law by making public the report in question,” said Blatter in a letter written to Dyke and published on the FIFA website.

“We have been advised that publication of the report might be permissible if the persons and entities included in the report consent to such publication and waive any legal action they might be entitled to bring.”

FIFA cleared Qatar and Russia, the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts respectively, of corruption and ruled out a re-vote for the tournaments despite widespread allegations of wrongdoing.

But within hours of FIFA’s ethics committee publishing a summary of Garcia’s report, the corruption probe was thrown into turmoil when Garcia said he would appeal against the findings as they contained “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions” detailed in his investigation.

Garcia’s 350-page report summed up an investigation that involved interviewing more than 75 witnesses and compiling a dossier with more than 200,000 pages and audio interviews.

Blatter also asked Dyke on Wednesday if details of England’s failed bid to stage the 2018 World Cup would also be published if the Garcia probe, the results of which he claims he has not seen, was made public.

Controversy over the awarding of the next two World Cups had taken a further twist on Tuesday when FIFA lodged a criminal complaint over “possible misconduct” by individuals in connection with the bids.



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