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Sunday, June 13, 2021

FIFA votes to release World Cup probe, pressures Qatar on labor rights

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

After a storm of controversy, FIFA’s executive committee has agreed to release an edited version of a confidential report investigating the process by which Russia and Qatar were chosen as World Cup hosts.

However, officials said following a meeting in Marrakesh that a revote for hosting rights to the 2018 or 2022 World Cup was highly unlikely.

According to AFP, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who is seeking a fifth term next year, said on Friday:

“It would really need an earthquake, extremely important new elements to go back on this World Cup in Qatar.”

During the meeting, the ExCo also called for an independent body to be formed to ensure Qatar improves conditions for its migrant workforce, an issue that has drawn international concern and scrutiny.

‘We have been in a crisis’

The world’s football governing body has come under fire in recent months after saying it could not release a more than 400-page document investigating corruption allegations surrounding the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Michael Garcia and Hans-Joachim Eckert.
Michael Garcia and Hans-Joachim Eckert.

Last month, ethics judge Hans Joachim Eckert published a summary of the report, concluding that there was no evidence of wrongdoing, and as a result FIFA would close its probe.

But the author of the probe, US attorney Michael Garcia, has said the summary misrepresented the facts. Last week, he resigned in protest, after expressing concerns about FIFA’s transparency and leadership.

Despite the turmoil, during the meeting in Morocco, Blatter reassured those present that internal conflicts were back on track, saying:

“We have been in a crisis. The crisis has stopped because we again have the unity in our government.”

The report

It is not clear when the report will actually be published.

Media outlets say that witnesses’ names will be removed from the probe and the document would only be released once an investigation into five people, three of whom are current voting members of the executive committee, is complete.

Garcia’s former deputy, Cornel Borbely, has been promoted to continue Garcia’s investigation.

It has been reported that the three current FIFA members are:

  • FIFA Vice President, Angel Maria Villar of Spain;
  • Michel D’Hooghe of Belgium; and
  • Worawi Makudi of Thailand.

The other two people under investigation are apparently:

  • Franz Beckenbauer, former executive committee member and previous football manager for the German national team; and
  • Harold Mayne-Nicholls, former Chile football leader and led FIFA’s inspection team that evaluated the nine World Cup candidates in 2010.

Those found guilty are able to appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, which could further delay the publication of the investigation.

Meanwhile, the date of Qatar’s World Cup remains up in the air, but is expected to be decided as early as March.

However, FIFA has now confirmed that Russia will host the 2018 World Cup from June 14 to July 15.

Thoughts?

23 COMMENTS

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A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

it seems that most of the corrupt individuals in FIFA are European, including Blatter!

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Not quite true, fifa members from all parts of the world are corrupt! The difference it seems is Euroopean and U.S. law agencies will go after their own people for corruption, however can you imagine an African government ordering an investigation? Probably not as the government, bribe takers and Fifa members are one and the same. The most corrupt man in world football was Jack Warner a man who had to teach Bin Hamman how to be corrupt!

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Can you imagine a Gulf, specifically the Qatar, government ordering an investigation?

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Well those in power are the same people/family that run the sporting authorities, hardly likely to investigate themselves! (Well maybe, so they can find themseleves innocent)

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

lol

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

You probably have to be corrupt to be allowed to work with Fifa

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Exactly. Buying off, bribing and shutting off the mouths of the Asians and Africans at the FIFA organisations is a routine process but its really suprising that the Europeans and Americans are not making much noise either and perhaps they have been taken care of too.. and a lot better for sure

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

European countries have talked about boycotting the WC, the Americans, and Europeans, have asked for investigation from the beginning. Now the FBI is investigating. Hard to consider that being passive.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Most? I dunno, I did a bit of googling and it seems like a pretty international crowd of corrupt individuals to me

Angel Maria Villar Llona of Spain – under investigation

Worawi Makudi from Thailand – under investigation

Michel D’Hooghe from Belgium – under investigation

Franz Beckenbauer from Germany – under investigation

Harold Mayne-Nicholls from Chile – under investigation

Issa Hayatou from Cameroon – investigated by IOC for corruption

Chuck Blazer from USA – investigated turned whistleblower

Mohammed Bin Hammam from Qatar – banned

Jack Warner from Trinidad and Tobago – suspended

Canover Watson from Cayman Islands – arrested by police

Amos Adamu from Nigeria – banned

Reynald Temarii from Tahiti – banned

Ismael Bhamjee of Botswana – suspended

Amadou Diakite of Mali – suspended

Ahongalu Fusimalohi of Tonga – suspended

Slim Aloulou of Tunisia – suspended

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Seriously? Just start with your local connection. Banned for life. LOL

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Ok, and your local representative is…….banned. Wake up.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Of course Spetic Blatter can’t order a re-vote, his votes for re election depend in those who would be exposed as corrupt in the original bidding process. He is a wily politician, he knows he doesn’t need UEFA, as he can buy off African, Asian and S. American FAs with ‘donations’ of FIFA’s money…..

DEEM
DEEM
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

They can only hold a re-vote if all the original voters still have voting rights…. Over half of the original voters are no longer on the committee of FIFA …. For one reason or other, so a revote is impossible. The only way this will change now is a) a criminal prosecution (which the Swiss police have ruled out) followed by b) a completely fresh bid and selection process. Given that the WC in Russia is just a few years away, that is note going to happen.

No matter how many people scream “Foul, Referee!!!!” We are not going to see a red card.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

Then the last hope is for football is Septic Bladder not to be re-elected

Edward
Edward
6 years ago

By the time this report is released, if it ever is, Blatter will have been re-elected, the Court of Arbitration of Sport would have considered all the rounds of appeals, and the World Cup in 2022 will probably have been completed.

Jason
Jason
6 years ago

“An edited version of the report”?? What on earth are they possibly hiding? The lengths they have gone through to avoid this release and now this “edited” version? Completely unacceptable.

Chantal
Chantal
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

Exactly. I pretty much stopped reading the article after I read that an “edited version of the report” is to be released. If they wanted to be ‘open and honest’ then an unedited version would be far easier and less time consuming.

KingOfKings
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

The Emir’s secret visits to Sepp Blatter (construction updates as they were declared), came on time to insure that no report sees the light. The edits will basically take away ANY statements about what Qatari royalties did to get the votes. (Energy deals, construction consultants, Aspire favors, Phaedra Al Majid’s life threats, etc)..Qatar really owns FIFA in every single way. That WC is a project that started more than 10 years ago and every single step of it, including the summer to winter, super cooling technology joke, etc were all planned!

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

FIFA is becoming a big one man joke. They had a investigation and then HE said they will not publish the results of the investigation. Then under pressure the guy changed his mind and said an edited version would be published. Cant really blame the guy as he must be trying to keep a lot of the guys below him at his organization in good spirits so that they will elect him for a fifth term. Its astonishing how one guy is playing around with the way the game of Football is managed. Looks like the guy is going to get another term as if he loses then the other puppets at FIFA will have to go with him

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

tick, tick, tick ……..

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

When this edited report appears, if ever, it is hoped that it is endorsed by Mr. Garcia, because if it isn’t then FIFA will somehow have managed to sink to an even lower low. However, as FIFA intended, the furore will become irrelevant, because as time drags on it will be deemed as too late to switch the venue of WC2022. Like Samaranch, Blatter has no shame, and with his millions already in the bank he can laugh at the world. As for FIFA pressing for an improvement in workers rights, I am sure that Qatar can come up with some wording that will provide the necessary illusion.

Wanderer
Wanderer
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Remember that Mr Garcia himself was also a member of FIFA, so his report is hardly independent either. This should be handed over to a proper criminal investigatory power.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Wanderer

He was appointed in July ’12 to investigate so he is hardly the old guard of FIFA.

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