Sport Football The World Cup voter whose daughter found $2.6M in her bank account

The World Cup voter whose daughter found $2.6M in her bank account

Qatar's skyline glitters, but the shadows darken over the country's World Cup bid. Getty
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The full FIFA investigation into the controversial Qatari bid for the 2022 World Cup will be released in a German newspaper, with claims of private jets for FIFA members and millions of dollars in bribes to a 10-year-old girl.

FIFA’s then-chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia compiled a report into the bid in 2014.

His 430-page investigation has never been published before – FIFA, instead, put out a 42-page summary which Garcia promptly disowned.

But now German newspaper Bild has obtained a copy of the original.

Its contents will be published in two parts on Tuesday and Wednesday but journalist Peter Rossberg began releasing extracts via social media on Monday.

Among the early revelations from the Garcia report are claims that the Qataris flew three members of FIFA’s executive committee to a party in Rio on a private jet shortly before the December 2010 vote.

In addition, GBP1.6million (A$2.6 million) was sent to a bank account belonging to the 10-year-old daughter of another voter.

Former FIFA investigator Michael Garcia saw his report suppressed.

The story in the Bild newspaper also reveals how world soccer’s governing body sanitised Garcia’s findings in the summary of his report by FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert.

In a section on how the Qatari bid used Aspire to “curry favour with (FIFA) executive committee members”, Garcia wrote “those actions served to undermine the integrity of the bidding process”.

But Eckert translated this as “potentially problematic facts and circumstances” which “were, all in all, not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup bidding process as a whole”.

After the release of the summary an indignant Garcia returned to the US accusing Eckert of making “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations”.

Whether the appearance of his complete work will correct any of those representations enough to threaten Qatar’s staging of the World Cup is debatable.

Organisers have withstood everything that has been thrown at them so far and there appears to be little appetite at FIFA to revisit the decision.

However, criminal investigations into the bid, some fuelled by Garcia’s early work, continue in France, Switzerland and elsewhere.


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