WORLD

Bild leaks Garcia report on World Cup corruption probe

BILD LEAKS GARCIA REPORT ON WORLD CUP CORRUPTION PROBE

The unpublished report of former FIFA investigator Michael Garcia which looked into possible corruption around the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar had been gained by German newspaper Bild.

Germany's Bild paper said on Tuesday it had gained access to the unpublished report of former FIFA investigator Michael Garcia which looked into possible corruption around the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.

Bild said the 430-page Garcia report includes that three FIFA executives were flown to Rio de Janeiro for a party in a private jet of Qatar's federation ahead of the vote; that 2 million dollars were paid to the 10-year-old daughter of a FIFA official; and details the role of the famous Aspire sports academy in Doha.

Peter Rossberg, the Bild reporter who allegedly had access to the report, said on his Facebook page there is "no proof that Russia 2018 or Qatar 2022 were bought. But there are so many strong indicators, especially concerning Qatar, that a different conclusion is hardly possible."

Rossberg named the Garcia report "a portrayal of a completely corrupt system" and said it led to arrests of many football officials as part of criminal investigations.

FIFA were yet to comment on the report but officials at the Swiss FIFA home in Zurich were in contact with those at the governing body's Confederations Cup headquarters in St Petersburg.

Some of the details in the Bild report have been known beforehand, and were dismissed by Qatar which like Russia denies any wrongdoing, but finding entry into Garcia's report makes them more official.

On Twitter, Rossberg showed an alleged excerpt of the report which said that "those actions served to undermine the integrity of the bidding process."

Russia and Qatar, who were awarded the tournaments on December 2, 2010 by FIFA's executive committee, are however not expected to be stripped of the tournaments.

Critics rather hope for evidence from ongoing criminal investigations in Switzerland.

The former United States attorney Garcia was hired by FIFA to look into corruption allegations around the bid process. He submitted his report on all bidders in 2014 but FIFA's leadership decided not to publish it.

Garcia resigned in December 2014 in protest over the decision not to publish the report and a summary compiled by FIFA's leading judge, Hans-Joachim Eckert, which cleared Qatar.

Garcia said the summary contained "numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts."

The Bild report is bad news for FIFA president Gianni Infantino who was elected in 2016 and wants to improve FIFA's image again.

Bild said it will publish further details over the next days which could coincide with Infantino's expected positive review of the Confederations Cup which ends Sunday.

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