FIFA Ethics Commission’s statement on the investigatory chamber’s report
The FIFA Ethics Commission’s statement on the investigatory chamber’s report about investigations into the bidding process for the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be made public in mid-November, according to Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the Ethics Committee’s adjudicatory chamber. Stating that it “takes time” working through all the material contained in hundreds of pages as well as numerous annexes, Eckert also explaines that publishing the report in full “would actually put the FIFA Ethics Committee and FIFA itself in a very difficult situation legally”. For the record, please find below Eckerts statement as contained in his answers to FIFA.com questions:
Question: When can we expect your statement?
Hans-Joachim Eckert: The report of the investigation into the bidding process for the
awarding of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups comprises hundreds of pages as well as
numerous annexes. Carefully working through all this material takes time. As things currently
stand, I expect the statement to be ready by mid-November at the latest.
What exactly will the statement include?
The statement will contain an overview of the investigation report, a summary of the main
findings, conclusions and recommendations of the report, as well as a brief evaluation of the same.
Why will Michael Garcia’s report not be published in full?
Firstly, it must be pointed out that the main report has been produced not by Michael
Garcia alone, but also by the deputy chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics
Committee Cornel Borbély. In fact, the report into Russia and the USA was produced solely by
Cornel Borbély. This is because Michael Garcia was unable to take part in some parts of the
investigation due to the possibility of conflicts of interest for example in the case of the American bid (as he is a US citizen). Publishing the report in full would actually put the FIFA Ethics Committee and FIFA itself in a very difficult situation legally. What is more, we have to respect the personal rights of the people mentioned in the report, which in the case of full publication of the report would in all likelihood not be possible.
The impression has sometimes been given in the media that you and Michael
Garcia are in disagreement about whether the report can be published or not. How
do you see this situation?
No, that is not the case. Michael Garcia has never said that the report should be 100 per
cent published. He merely said that the ‘appropriate’ publication of his report should be authorised.
The deputy chairman of the adjudicatory chamber and I now have the task of drawing up this
appropriate form for publication. Part of my current examination involves deciding what form this
appropriate publication should take, whether this means issuing a statement regarding the
investigation report or whether certain parts of the investigation report will be published while
maintaining anonymity, or indeed a combination of these possibilities. This decision is exclusively a
matter for the adjudicatory chamber – neither the investigatory chamber nor the FIFA Executive
Committee can decide. The main requirement is that personal rights must not be damaged.
This article has been republished with permission from the editor and publisher of the Sport Intern.