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Monday, July 26, 2021

Investigator contests report on World Cup bids won by Russia, Qatar

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Updated at 3:21pm with a statement from the author of the report, Michael Garcia, and at 6:38pm with response from FIFA.

A long-awaited FIFA report has failed to find evidence of corruption in Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup and does not recommend re-running the vote.

The findings, which were greeted with criticism from some, likely indicate that FIFA’s executive committee will not take any steps to move the tournament out of Qatar.

However, this afternoon, Michael Garcia, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee and author of the report, issued a statement criticizing the conclusions drawn by the governing football body’s summary. He said:

“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.”

His remarks indicate that the probe into Qatar and Russia’s bids may not be closed after all:

In a statement sent to Doha News this evening, a FIFA spokesperson said the organization was aware of reports that Garcia had commented on the matter. But it added:

“For the time-being, FIFA has not been officially notified of this statement and is therefore not in a position to further comment on this matter at this stage. We will follow-up in due time.”

Summary details

The report does not completely exonerate Qatar, but says the misdeeds of individuals connected to the country’s bid did not discredit the overall process.

“The potentially problematic facts and circumstances identified by the Report regarding the Qatar 2022 bid were, all in all, not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole.”

Qatar’s World Cup organizing body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said it needed time to review today’s report before commenting.

Thursday’s report is a 42-page summary of the 430-page document submitted to football’s governing body in September by ethics investigator Michael Garcia.

The US attorney spent two years looking into allegations of bribery and corruption surrounding the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.

The report is critical of many of the bidders who vied to host the football competitions, including Australia, England, Qatar and Russia.

Accusations that individuals connected to Qatar’s World Cup bid bribed FIFA officials in exchange for votes began surfacing soon after the Gulf country was awarded the tournament in late 2010.

And fresh allegations surfaced earlier this year when British newspaper the Sunday Times published a series of front-page articles based on “millions” of documents that it said showed Qatar bribed FIFA executive committee members with payments totaling some $5 million to help secure support for its bid.

Mohamed Bin HammamThe Sunday Times specifically highlighted the alleged role of Mohamed Bin Hammam, a Qatari official who formerly served as president of the Asian Football Confederation.

According to the newspaper, the documents showed that he built support for the Gulf state among African football officials through several payments, parties and gifts – which FIFA officials are not allowed to accept – helping to buy the four votes of African ExCo members.

However, today’s report said Bin Hammam’s payments to the Confederation of African Football officials were related to his bid to become the president of FIFA, rather than Qatar’s quest to host the World Cup. It added that the individuals who received “benefits” were not in a position to influence the 2022 bidding process in Qatar’s favor.

For its part, Qatar’s World Cup organizing body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, has long distanced itself from Bin Hammam – who was banned from football for life by FIFA – saying he played no official or unofficial role in Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee.

Reaction

Many international critics have called for Qatar to be stripped of the World Cup, and it appeared FIFA’s report did little to change their opinions:

https://twitter.com/changeFIFA/status/532804356404703232

But others hoped the report would put an end to the allegations that have dogged Qatar’s bid:

While much of the public focus of the FIFA investigation has been on Qatar and the 2022 World Cup, the report also looks into the bidding process for the 2018 tournament, which was won by Russia.

Today’s report notes that Russia failed to co-operate with investigators and claimed that many electronic records were erased after it was awarded the World Cup.

The report closes by criticizing the media and general discourse around the allegations, noting that what constitutes “corruption” in the context of a World Cup bid is murky at best:

“Promoting football projects, retaining highly professional support for submitting a bid and state subsidies are located in a certain gray area surrounding the bidding process and the vote on FIFA World Cup hosts. The fact alone that senior politicians take interest in a country’s bid in the context of an official state visit that takes place for different purposes is not per se suspicious … To assume, e.g., that envelopes full of cash are given in exchange for votes on a FIFA World Cup host is naive.”

It added that FIFA’s ethics committee needed to not only find evidence of “corruptive payments … attributed to specific individuals or entities” but also be able to link it to a particular misconduct.

Here’s a copy of FIFA’s report:

[scribd id=246449944 key=key-RWbZRI6wm55wdlPX02qB mode=scroll]

Thoughts?

63 COMMENTS

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smd
smd
6 years ago

So after 4 years of controversy Qatar is now clear, the FIFA are happy and by the way the FA are the bad boys………..seems exactly what one would expect if one was cynical 🙂

smd
smd
6 years ago
Reply to  smd

Sad to reply to my own initial comment, but here’s the money shot…issued 3hrs after Fifa issue their conclusive finding!!!……you couldn’t even make up this BS..lol…..
http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30037729.

Matt9005
Matt9005
6 years ago

Funny how the Sunday Times never came out with their “millions” of documents as evidence! Just some butthurt nations!

Al
Al
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt9005

Suggest you wait until Sunday …

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt9005

Garcia needs to open up to the public now with his case. Also the Times needs to publish the docs if they have them. Otherwise the wc stays here and we just get on with it as best we can.

smd
smd
6 years ago

World Cup inquiry clears Qatar but criticises English FA http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30031405

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago
Reply to  smd

if it clears Qatar – then why has’nt Qatar pushed for the full release of the report, at day one? Why has FIFA refused full publication? Something stinks here, and FIFA seems to be at the very heart of it !

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

maybe the russian bid stinks… the report was on both bids… maybe the report shows other countries which did not win gave bribes to FIFA members and therefore FIFA did not want to publish the report…. As for qatar, you have to understand the culture, if you are very confident of your position, you stay quiet.. and let the storm blow over…

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

that may be valid, and may be Qatar’s culture, but this is an International playing field, and in that forum declaring and being seen to push to prove you are whiter than white is a more credible perception. If this is the case then Qatar has been dragged into the mire by FIFA, when perhaps they should have been better advised ?

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

Really do you think the state of Qatar should respond the Sunday Times ?

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Well, it does have a bigger following. 😉

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

ROFL

sicti
sicti
6 years ago

Good! We’ll keep our jobs after all 🙂

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago

Here haters, have some 😀

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Excellent.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Is that chocolate?

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I bet you wish you waited until after Garcia said the FIFA summary was a whitewash and complete nonsense.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You’d lose that bet 😉

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Here’s a question for: I don’t really follow football, and so I cannot say for sure, but I’m just wondering all these years the same people, more or less, ran FIFA. What happened all of the sudden now that made their official start taking bribes, or is it perhaps that they’d been doing this all along? Or have these officials been accepting gifts and such all these years, but nobody cared until now?

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Yep, nobody cared till now.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

This has been going on for a long time, Jack Warner has a crime sheet as long as your arm, Richard Teixeira of the Brazilian FA also has been at it a long time. I even wrote myself to FIFA in the mid nineties and the FIFA Lawyers saying they need to take action against the widespread bung taking in FIFA as it is destroying the game.

Google FIFA and ISL if you want to know corruption of a grand scale that predates these World Cup awards. (and they got away with it)

If you want to know more this man has been investigating the IOC and FIFA for years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Jennings

http://www.transparencyinsport.org/
His stuff is on youtube as well if you fancy watching.
To answer your question, does anyone care? In most of the world not really, it is a way to cream off money from the game and there is plenty of money in football these days. If the English FA and German FA make a stand and want changes they get accused of rascism, where the African FAs, Latin American and Asian keep their hands in the money.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Don’t let Septic Bladder fool you into believing it is some western conspiracy against Arabs and all these accusations are due to racism. He is protecting himself and his cronies.

Here is more muck on FIFA that predates the world cup awards

http://www.transparencyinsport.org/PDF-documents-front-page/Blatter-denies-bribes.jpg

http://www.transparencyinsport.org/PDF-documents-front-page/Guilty.jpg
(Note Blatter with his friend Bin Hamman in 2002…)

http://www.transparencyinsport.org/PDF-documents-front-page/Blatter-dodges-Warner-issues.jpg

http://www.transparencyinsport.org/PDF-documents-front-page/Blatter-denies-bribes.jpg

http://www.transparencyinsport.org/PDF-documents-front-page/500000-Bribe.jpg

http://www.transparencyinsport.org/PDF-documents-front-page/Bin-Hammam-ticket-scandal.jpg
(look Bin Hamman again in a 2002 ticket scandal with Blatter)

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I’m not really big on conspiracy theories; however, the amount of attention in the British press for this story is hard to dismiss as being business as usual.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Also look what your country signed up to….. (FIFA wants it to be a secret)

http://www.transparencyinsport.org/The_documents_that_FIFA_does_not_want_fans_to_read/the_documents_fifa_does_not_want_fans_to_read-page2.html

This one is very interesting, they want Qatar to pay for their tournament in full and then they want to keep all the money generated. Qataris are subsidising FIFA corruption, this is money that could be spent on hospitals, roads, education or other benefits for citizens.

http://www.transparencyinsport.org/The_documents_that_FIFA_does_not_want_fans_to_read/PDF-documents/(3)Tax-exemptions.pdf

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

So let’s all agree awarding Qatar the world cup was a bad decision. Summer heat, labor abuse, football history and culture.. the list goes on…

But can it, can it just be that, a bad decision? Is it so difficult to comprehend Qatar, whether it was the right or wrong choice that Qatar did actually win fair and square? Could it just be the bid committee put their hearts and souls, a limitless budget and all the PR experts out there behind this bid and simply won it?

FIFA is corrupt, yes. But the investigation and report was prepared by Michael Garcia, an ex-US federal prosecutor, an independent third-party.

Could it be Qatar just did not buy the winning votes and the Sunday Times was simply out on a smearing campaign? Could it be the press got it wrong?

Could it be FIFA was not hiding the report in fear of something bigger and greater than Doha, perhaps the 2018 Russia bid, perhaps opening up further investigation on Brazil’s World Cup or side deals between FIFA members and sponsors?

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Oops I commented to soon … At least we know now for a fact Garcia is furiously independent … Good for him…

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

it took Garcia 4 hours to respond … the report “contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions”…. challenging FIFA’s spin ?

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

He probably responded as soon as he woke up in the US (time difference is eight hours between here and NYC)

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Ahh – I think it’s yet to be seen whether it can actually be done.

Restie
Restie
6 years ago

This isn’t the end of this. People fail to see how Eurocentric football has become over the past twenty years. It’s not a global sport like it’s claimed to be. The best players, teams and leagues all exist in Europe, and there is a determined push to keep it that way.

The facade of emerging market ‘sports development’ efforts by European FAs and teams is an illusion. They will not be happy unless the world revolves around Western Europe. They are all too happy to have their programme management/consultancy firms bid for contracts in Russia, South Africa, Qatar and Brazil, with complete disregards towards rights, climate and security, but their press will continue to taint every mention of the country and tournament with a smearing agenda.

Where were the gangs of neo-Nazis in Sochi? Where the the roving mobs of preteen thieves in Brazil? Issues exist in every tournament, but the it’s always blown over by specific journalists with motives.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Restie

The clubs own the game. If you want to buy all the clubs it’s going to cost a lot.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

It always makes me laugh that Qatar says bin hammam was nothing to do with the bid. I wonder why the leader of the bid team said this just before the vote

“(WFI) Qatar 2022 bid chairman, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani tells INSIDER that AFC President and FIFA Ex-co member Mohamed Bin Hammam is the bid’s “biggest asset” and that he has been a crucial mentor for his team.”

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

“The findings of Fifa’s inquiry into allegations of corruption during bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups have been questioned – by the man who conducted the two-year investigation into the claims.”

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30037729

So basically FIFA read Garcia’s report, and decided to say something else when they published it earlier! Probably because Garcia was far more critical of Septic Blatter
You couldnt make this stuff up.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Makes great tv though.

DEEM
DEEM
6 years ago

Almost diametrically opposite of what the BBC reported this morning. so lets summarize… The win by Qatar was deemed to be fishy – we all know the arguments, and to be honest I smell a rat in most of them… but anyway… an investigation was conducted… even some of the “evidence” against was iffy…. so a judge is appointed, and he judges that the appointment to Qatar for WC2022 should stand….. now they are saying the judgment was faulty? The report misinterpreted?
Lads…. give it up! Qatar will host WC2022…. yes its hot, yes, your prima donna European superstars will have to work for a change… but Qatar has the resources and the will to make the whole visitor experience unforgettable like few other nations can.
My vote stands: Qatar 2022 will happen, and I hope I am still here to see it.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

“Visitors experience unforgettable”…like nearly or actually being killed on the roads, no footpaths, limited green space, no pedestrian crossings, dust, heat, slavery, traffic jams, arrogance , monitoring of freedom of speech, restriction of freedom of movement, abuse of maids, abuse of drivers, kids being killed daily because the inhabitants are to stupid to use seatbelts on them, stray cats and dogs, litter being thrown from cars left right and centre, animal abuse in the souk, queue jumping by locals, second hand smoke in starbucks, enjoy the pearl but no wine with your dine ok, blocking the roads outside schools, pulling up outside the shop blocking traffic and honking your horn for the slave to bring you a shwarma, and lets not forget that every single time a ‘major’ football match is held people with tickets cant get in etc …”unforgettable” alright but for all the wrong reasons.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Oh dear, it just gets better….

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30037729

“In an unexpected twist, lawyer Michael Garcia says the report “contains numerous
materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and
conclusions”.”

This is even better than a WC. The man they paid to do the investigation is now attacking FIFA… you couldn’t make it up.

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
6 years ago

And in other news today, a prominent German judge has been appointed by Qatar to report on the alleged failings of the current Kafala system. It is expected that the judge will find nothing wrong and recommend that there are no changes.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  wee_johnnie

Lol 😀

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Comments are disappearing all over the place….

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Time for a few new ones..

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Welcome to FIFA

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

FIFA doesn’t just shoot itself in the foot – it blows both it’s own legs off. One thing is sure, whether now or later, that report will by fair means or foul find itself in the public domain. By withholding it now, and if Garcia’s words are true then FIFA will have heaped yet more ridicule on themselves, and on Russia’s and Qatar’s WC bids.. Also, Garcia could theoretically take FIFA to court for misrepresentation, and then there would be no option but to publish the report.

KK
KK
6 years ago

More Rolexes please ! I recall that one of the members (I believe the Belgian guy) managed to get a job for a close family member in local hospital after the cup was allocated to Qatar.

Anyway, I do not see why they should keep this event in Qatar. It is all about prestige and money and no link with the sport whatsoever.

smd
smd
6 years ago

Sad to reply to my own initial comment, but here’s the money shot…issued 3hrs after Fifa issue their conclusive finding!!!……you couldn’t even make up this BS..lol…..
http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/foo….

Mr. B
6 years ago

The good: Qatar keeps the World Cup and the human rights abuses within the country keep getting attention, thereby drastically increasing the chances of them getting sorted rather than swept under the rug (as they have in Dubai now that Qatar’s in the spotlight).

The bad: FIFA’s own internal ethics monitoring doesn’t work.

The ugly: Nothing can be done about how horrible FIFA is. Unless fans stop watching, FIFA will not be held to account.

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

How FIFA maintain conduct….

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago

Did anyone honestly believe that this sport is not rigged from top to bottom. Fixed by the mob and sports betting. Seriously, if you did you are lying to yourself. So honestly…..who cares. Its a bunch of people kicking a ball around some grass for a few million a game. I think there are better things to get to worked up about. Legitimate issues to address rather than this drivel. By some of the comments over the last several years on this matter, you would think FIFA is the UN and charged with solving world hunger.

Masboro
Masboro
6 years ago

We all know that FIFA is Blatters personal kingdom to run as he sees fit. This report was always going to be a whitewash so why the surprise?
Incidentally, the English FA’s World Cup committee offered FIFA officials suites at the Dirchester Hotel during the London Olympics, an offer which was retracted as soon as the bid was lost. Some may actually see that as a ‘bribe’.
The only way that anything will change is for the major sponsors to withdraw and ruin FIFA’s finances.

Diego
Diego
6 years ago

This is really getting to the point of shame.If FIFA cannot agree on something of this nature or people in the FIFA organization are able to cast doubt on such an important finding, then why on earth should anyone believe FIFA on any front?Qatar bid, Russia bid.They won.End of story,get on with it people.

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago

I can see Platini turning UEFA’s posturing…

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/exclusive-uefa-plot-to-turn-the-euros-into-alternative-world-cup-8861335.html

…into a reality?

If UEFA were to position themselves as a direct contender for the most prestigious football competition in the World I’m sure there would likely be many current WC sponsors willing to jump ship. TV viewing figures, for the Euros are already high, and as more fans get turned off by the bad smell around FIFA’s primary gravy train the big money will be happy to switch.

Blatter is leading FIFA to extinction.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Myrddin

I’m expecting to see some giving of evidence under parliamentary/congressional privilege one day soon where all comes out, maybe as a result of American grand-jury indictments. That should be interesting…

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I don’t understand why the Russians aren’t being attacked, (probably because they would invade your country……) but the defence of “the dog ate my homework” is quite incredible. Fifa declare them clean because ether destroyed all the evidence. Fantastic.

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

And maybe Garcia shares your view, which might be why he’s a tad p!ssed off with the way his report has been presented to the public?

The absence of attacks on Russia is down to the facts that:
They are an established international football competitor
They have an abundance of stadia which only require updating, not building from scratch
A temperate climate in Summer
A track record of staging big sporting events

Even if there was a dodgy aspect to their bid, they were still a ‘plausible’ WC host to start with. Not so Qatar?

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Myrddin

On the plus side for Qatar they haven’t spent the last year carving up someone else country for themselves.

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

On that, I agree. At the time of decision, however, Putin was only considered a little eccentric. Only since then has he declared his hand, in full view of the World.

Cue the Putin-bots?

zeus
zeus
6 years ago

*!*!*Congratulations*!*!* to SCDL and whole of Qatar for getting absolved from allegations related to Qatar2022 which SCDL refuted from day one. Kudos to you Qatar…Keep going to deliver the best….and Amaze the World

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  zeus

Isn’t getting cleared of corruption by FIFA the same as being pronounced a saint by the devil…..

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Getting the nod of approval from the Kray twins.

zeus
zeus
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Thats it…so when the devil system itself appointed one to investigate the deeds which finally will open up its own misdeeds what the outcome in the final verdict could have been well foreseen and a third party inquiry should have been called for at the start itself if anybody was serious rather than Michael Garcia’s investigation. And now how can Garcia raise objection in the summary given out by the judge when he himself had limitations in the whole investigation process where he should have quit saying his inability and recommending a third party.

So rather than to still hang on with the allegations against just Qatar, which SCDL refuted boldly from day one, move on…as something has come out absolving them from any grave misdeeds when there were others who did not even open up to be investigated.

Let Qatar go ahead and Amaze the World as they proclaim.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

So basically the whole process is corrupt from start to finish, even those of ok tied intelligence can see this. Let’s ponder some questions.

1. Russia tells the fifa enquiry it has destroyed all the PCs that were used so cannot hand over any thing. Really? You just accept this as an answer? Amazing.

2. Japan said it colluded with Russia over a vote swap. Russia denies this. Why would Japan lie and implicate themselves? Does Russia ever lie? I think in Ukraine we have the answer.

3. After the vote Qatar 2022 said Bin Hamman, now banned and disgraced as bribe giver and corrupt beyond all doubt, had nothing to do with the bid. However just before the bid Sheik Mohamed chairman of the bid said he was an integral part and a crucial mentor of his team. Again fifa just ignored this contradiction. Why?

4. Qatar was the worst bid as per FIFA’s own technical evaluation. How can it go from the worst to the best bid and why did the voting members ignore their own report?

5. The English FA is slammed in the report for funding a $55,000 banquet for Jack Warner yet the report clears Qatar for spending $1.8 million funding the CAF congress therefore baring any competing bids from lobbying a this important event.

It goes on and on but I’ll stop there and it stinks.

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago

In football terms – the antithesis of Septic Bladder

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvH3frWMhLM

Would love to see Bladder answer to Shanks, in person!

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago
Reply to  Myrddin

Throw Cloughie into the argument, and it would make a Quentin Tarantino film look like a Disney production

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqAZsoF-ghw

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