FIFA set to vote on publication of Garcia report

Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:15am EST
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By Brian Homewood

MARRAKECH, Morocco (Reuters) - FIFA's executive committee began a two-day meeting amid tight security on Thursday with members expected to vote on whether to release ethics investigator Michael Garcia's report into the turbulent bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The meeting, at a luxury Marrakech hotel where even the grounds were off limits to the public, began the day after Garcia quit in protest at the handling of his investigation into the process which led to the 2018 World Cup being awarded to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar in December 2010.

Sources close to the FIFA leadership suggested the vote could be closer than expected and that more committee members might be moved to vote in favor of the release of a redacted version of Garcia's report as public pressure on them grows.

The meeting will be addressed by Domenico Scala, head of FIFA's audit and compliance committee and one of six people to have seen Garcia's report.

FIFA Exco members who have publicly called for the report to be published in full include Jim Boyce, Jeffrey Webb, Moya Doidd, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan and UEFA president Michel Platini.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter could play a crucial role in swaying some of the undecided members on the 27-man committee to vote one way or another, sources at world soccer's governing body said.

FIFA's ability to police itself, after a wave of corruption scandals, has been repeatedly questioned and Garcia, a former U.S. prosecutor, had been seen as one of the people most capable of exposing any wrongdoing.


Michael J. Garcia, Chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee attends a news conference at the at the Home of FIFA in Zurich in this file photo taken July 27, 2012 REUTERS/Michael Buholzer