With FIFA lawyer Michael Garcia having publicly issued a statement from his lengthy written report, criticising the governing body for fabricating the results of his two-year inquiry into corruption relating to the 2018 World Cup bid – won by Russia, and the 2022 World Cup bid – won by Qatar – have FIFA officially lost everyone’s trust?
“It has undermined the whole process. It’s now pretty ugly for Fifa if the person who did the inquiry says the judge hasn’t properly reflected his inquiry. That’s pretty serious for Fifa. It now seems the interpretation of the Garcia report is not a fair one, according to Garcia himself,” said English Football Association Greg Dyke.
FIFA released a statement after a two-year investigation into the 2018 & 2022 World Cup bidding process, which cleared Russia and Qatar respectively of any wrongdoing. But Garcia was quick to suggest his findings had been fabricated, hinted towards a cover-up.
When Qatar were surprisingly named 2022 World Cup hosts, despite being top of the list for highest risk to host the tournament due to weather conditions, questions were asked how the voters came to such a decision. Considering England only received two out of 22 votes – despite having the resources to host a tournament at any time – many felt there was underhand tactics on display.
A vast amount of over-the-hill footballers reside in Qatar & Russia to get paid lucrative sums of money in a weaker league, which in turn brings more attention to the football structure as a result. The financial gain of playing in both countries is what they are perhaps best known for among the football enthusiasts, and the authorities looking to bid for the 2018 & 2022 World Cup certainly weren’t collectively short on resources to curry favour.
Immediately after Qatar were surprisingly awarded the hosting privileges of the 2022 World Cup, there was a rising debate on whether it will need to be a winter World Cup due to the impossible playing climate. Such drawbacks made Qatar at the most risk of hosting a tournament, but they still drew more votes than the likes of England and the US, which is why many aren’t convinced the bidding process was above board.
Hans-Joachim Eckert turned Garcia’s 430 page report into a 43 page summary, of which Garcia has claimed has numerous fallacies about the findings he produced.
But FIFA have lost the trust of most now, as not only have members recently left their post amid bribery allegations, but the cover-up allegations – which certainly have credence after Garcia’s statement – suggest the highest ranking members of the governing body are all involved and therefore will never get to the bottom of the situation. There’s simply nobody for people to trust within the organisation.
Michael Garcia has a 430 page report of his genuine findings of the corruption inquiry that leading football influences want made public, but if it’s at FIFA’s digression it’s likely to be kept quiet, especially if it possesses damning material that could bring the governing body into disrepute.