We here at The18 have touched on the fiasco that is the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process. We have now learned that the report on possible ethics violations will not be made public following the 18-month investigation.
This has been one of the hottest stories leading up to the World Cup in Brazil as discontent with FIFA and president Sepp Blatter has become overwhelmingly high. I haven’t talked to anyone or read anything that has tried to defend the decision that FIFA made awarding Qatar the World Cup. Then you see Sepp Blatter sitting next to Vladimir Putin at the 2014 Final and you can’t help but think corruption is somehow involved with the two future sites.
Chief investigator Michael Garcia’s report is due at the end of July and a final ruling won’t be made until August or September. Only the final decision made by the adjudicatory chamber will be made public, but nothing from the report itself.
FIFA is facing allegations of bribery and vote trading for both World Cups, with the 2022 World Cup taking most of the heat. Garcia has no relation to FIFA and was brought in specifically for this investigation, and he can make his own recommendation on how FIFA should handle the fate of the two future sites. The thing is, even if he recommended either or both of the sites be stripped of their hosting duties, it wouldn’t matter. His report will be submitted to Hans-Joachim Eckhart, the judge appointed to be head of the independent ethics committee, but the final decision rests on the FIFA executive committee.
This entire thing comes at a interesting time for FIFA, as this is an election year. Current president Sepp Blatter is running again and his opponent is UEFA president Michael Platini. This decision could be used as a campaign strategy for Blatter. Blatter never wanted the World Cup in Qatar and his opponent Platini voted for the tournament to be held there. Platini’s son, Laurent Platini was hired to head Qatari-owned sportswear company Burdda Sport following the vote as well, only adding to the weirdness of the entire thing. But Michael Platini has come out and said should corruption allegations be found that there should be a revote.
It really is a mess and it certainly is a blight upon the game. Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything to do but wait and see the decision that comes forth.