Like most everyone else on the planet, Wrong Side of the Pond have been closely following the chaotic story line surrounding the allegedly corrupt bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.
The focus on the winning Qatar 2022 bid has been particularly dramatic, and has often time bordered on a soap opera. A pint-sized desert country, devoid of any of the appropriate infrastructure, featuring scorching temperatures unsafe for players and fans alike, with practically zero impact on the world soccer scene was able to land a tournament of such importance is head scratching in its own right. But given the mounting evidence of bribery and series of broken promises that were delivered during the bidding process — not to mention the country’s horrendous workers’ rights reputation — it’s caused many to seriously question FIFA’s ability to adequately administer the competition and the sport
Under increasing pressure to clear their name, FIFA caved to the calls for a probe into the bidding processes for both tournaments in 2012.
As a result, former US district attorney Michael Garcia was recruited to conduct an in-depth analysis of all the bids submitted for 2018 and 2022. And in September, he delivered a 350 page report to FIFA that is believed to have not only uncovered evidence of such bribery — which are more or less already known — but also suggest sanctions be dished out to those involved. But in typical fashion, FIFA desired they be kept under wraps and instead issued a reportedly altered summary to pacify the unrest.
Garcia resigned from his post over the matter after calling for the full report to be released publicly, further stoking the flames of an already angry public. As such, FIFA are now considering the release of the full document. But they only intend to do so once they’ve had a chance to review it and likely redact large portions to “protect” those implicated.
Well, through much finagling and quite a few lucky breaks, I’ve been able to exclusively secure several pages from the full Garcia Report*.
Scan of those pages can be found below. Feel free to draw your own conclusions from the documents.
However I will say this much from my time looking over the pages made available to me: there’s some pretty damning stuff in there. And I can’t really blame FIFA for not wanting the report to ever see the light of day.
* – Obviously, the documents above are entirely fabricated. If you actually believed that I had enough clout to get my hands on the Garcia Report — something that nobody has been able to do yet — I appreciate your faith in me, if nothing else. But let’s be real here: I’m nowhere near that influential, nor do I have the contacts to pull it off. And even if I did, not even FIFA would be incompetent enough to produce documents like the ones above.