FIFA publishes full 2014 report on World Cup bidding

FIFA, football’s world governing body, has published in its entirety a 2014 report that investigated the bidding processes for the next two World Cups.

Russia is set to host the 2018 football tournament, while the 2022 event will take place in Qatar.

FIFA on Tuesday placed a link to the 430-page dossier on its website and said its decision was made after the report, compiled by its former chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia in 2014, was “illegally leaked” to a German newspaper.

“For the sake of transparency, FIFA welcomes the news that this report has now been finally published,” it said, adding that the decision was made to “to avoid the dissemination of any misleading information.”

Football’s governing body released a summary of the findings in 2014, but the full report had not been made available before.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Bild, a daily tabloid based in Berlin, had said that the leaked report reveals that three FIFA executive committee members were flown to a party in Rio de Janeiro on a private jet belonging to the Qatari football federation, before the vote in 2010.

The report also allegedly says that a Qatari sports facility, Aspire Academy, was implicated in manipulating voting FIFA members.

Al Jazeera contacted the academy for comment but has yet to receive a response. Most institutions in the Arab world are observing the Eid al-Fitr holidays.

According to Bild, the report also allegedly reveals that “a former executive committee member congratulated members of the Qatari federation and thanked them by mail for a transfer of several hundred thousand euros” just after Qatar was awarded the 2022 tournament.

Russia and Qatar have always denied any wrongdoing, and 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 the tournaments to Qatar or Russia.

Garcia resigned in December 2014 in protest over the decision not to publish the report, and a summary compiled by FIFA’s leading judge, Hans-Joachim Eckert, which cleared Qatar.

Peter Rossberg, the Bild journalist who obtained the report, said in a Facebook post that the Garcia report was “a portrayal of a completely corrupt system” and that it led to arrests of many football officials as part of criminal investigations.

“It was the beginning of a big avalanche,” he said.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies