MARRAKECH, Morocco (Reuters) - FIFA’s executive committee has unanimously agreed to publish an “appropriate” version of a report into the bidding process for the 2018/2022 World Cups but said Russia and Qatar would still stage the tournaments.
“The decision which has been taken on Dec 2, 2010, stands and there is no re-vote to take,” FIFA president Blatter told a news conference in a luxury Marrakech hotel.
“We will go on by sticking to our decisions, both tournaments are in our calendar, and we also need to determine when 2022 will take place,” he added, referring to the controversy over the timing of the tournament in the Gulf state.
“There must be huge upheavel, new elements come to the fore the change this, but the executive committee sees no need to change anything.”
Blatter added that the crisis FIFA has faced since the publication last month of a summary of former investigator Michael Garcia’s 18-month investigation was over.
“We have been in a crisis (but) with the decision of the executive committee today, the crisis has stopped.”
Soccer’s governing body had previously said it could not publish Garcia’s 430-page report for legal reasons.
However, FIFA’s ethics committee will now publish the report “in an appropriate form once ongoing procedures against individuals are concluded”, Blatter said in a statement issued shortly before a news conference.
Garcia has opened official investigations against a number of individuals, which Blatter confirmed on Friday, including three members of the current FIFA executive committee.
FIFA could not say how long the process would take but Blatter said the ethics committee should speed up.
“The executive committee is asking to the ethics committee to accelerate the movement, to take on more lawyers because we have needed two years to have a first report and we have to accelerate movement,” he said.
He also said the disciplinary committee would investigate how the names of the three members were leaked to the media.
Soccer’s governing body had been under pressure to publish a redacted version of Garcia’s report to help shed light on what happened during the turbulent process for the tournaments awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.
“I am pleased they have agreed. It has been a long process to arrive at this point and I understand the views of those who have been critical,” Blatter said.
”We have always been determined that the truth should be known. That is, after all, why we set up an independent Ethics Committee with an investigatory chamber that has all necessary means to undertake investigations on its own initiative.
“At the same time we also need to remember that while the report is complete, the investigations flowing from it are not. We must ensure that we do not jeopardise those investigations and the proceedings against various individuals already initiated by the independent Ethics Committee.”
The decision followed a presentation by Domenico Scala, head of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee and one of only six people to have seen the report.
Garcia, who said himself that the report should be published, investigated allegations of corruption in the bidding process, during which he interviewed 75 witnesses.
In November, FIFA’s ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert issued a 42-page summary of Garcia’s report which identified cases of “inappropriate conduct” in a number of the bids but said there was not enough evidence to justify re-opening the process.
Garcia immediately appealed against Eckert’s statement, saying it contained misrepresentations.
His appeal was ruled inadmissible this week, prompting his resignation.
Scala said the decision not to revisit the 2018 and 2022 vote was supported by two independent, legal experts he had consulted.
Editing by Martyn Herman/Mitch Phillips