FA chairman Greg Dyke demands ‘urgent action’ by FIFA over corruption report
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has written to every FIFA executive committee member calling for "urgent action" to ensure ethics investigator Michael Garcia’s report into World Cup bidding is published in full. Dyke’s action follows Garcia’s move to appeal against the decision by FIFA ethics committee judge Hans-Joachim Eckert to clear Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, having found no serious breaches of bidding rules by either nation.
Eckert’s findings said there was no reason to rerun the bidding – and criticized England 2018 for its relationship with disgraced former FIFA executive member Jack Warner.
Eckert has refused to published the full report and Dyke states that public confidence in FIFA has hit a new low, while there is "compelling evidence" of wrongdoing.
The letter comes after his predecessor as FA chairman, David Bernstein, urged European nations to boycott the 2018 World Cup unless FIFA undergoes more reforms.
Dyke’s letter states: "As you probably know the reputation of FIFA was already low in England and much of Europe before the events of last week. The failure to publish Mr Garcia’s report, and his statement that the summary report which was published contained "numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations," has resulted in a further decline in public confidence of FIFA. We cannot go on like this.
"Complete transparency is required if the actions of all those who bid, including England 2018, are to be judged fairly."
Dyke’s letter says critical media reports about FIFA and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar cannot be dismissed in the same way that FIFA president Sepp Blatter did in June.
It adds: "I know some of you believe that FIFA’s reputation in England is the result of an obsession amongst the English media with FIFA and I know Mr. Blatter sees their reports as an unfair attack on the organization he leads.
"However, in England we see it differently. The reports…do provide compelling evidence of wrongdoing. They cannot be simply dismissed as ‘racist’ or"an attack on FIFA" as Mr Blatter described them at the FIFA Congress in Brazil.
"Urgent action is needed if confidence in FIFA is to be rebuilt in England. The FA is of the view that this action should start with the full publication of Mr Garcia’s report."
Bernstein has resigned from his role on FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force and issued a call for a European boycott of the World Cup. That would prove impossible for UEFA given that one of its members – Russia – are hosts and the European body has not commented but it is understood to be deeply unhappy about events at FIFA.
Bernstein said: "There are 54 countries within UEFA. There’s Germany, Spain, Italy, France and Holland – all powerful. You can’t hold a serious World Cup without them. They have the power to influence if they have the will.
"The choosing of Qatar was clearly one of the most ludicrous decisions in the history of sport. You might as well have chosen Iceland in the winter. It was like an Alice in Wonderland sort of decision."
Meanwhile, the two whistleblowers at the center of World Cup corruption allegations have made a formal complaint to FIFA that promises of confidentiality have been breached.
Phaedra Almajid, who worked for the Qatar 2022 bid team before losing her job in 2010, said she promises that her identity would be protected had been crucial to her co-operation with the ethics investigation.
She and Bonita Mersaides, who worked for Australia 2022’s bid, have separately registered formal complaints against Eckert claiming his findings contained more than enough information to make the two whistleblowers easily identifiable from previous publicly-reported statements.
Almajid states her safety and that of her sons has been put at risk, saying in a letter to Garcia: "Identifying me and falsely discrediting me sends a message to anyone who may think to come forward that their credibility and protection will be in jeopardy for the rest of their lives."