Report calls for FIFA probe
LONDON – A government inquiry into corruption allegations surrounding World Cup bids has accused FIFA of trying to brush aside the evidence and has questioned president Sepp Blatter’s commitment to reforming the organisation.
The 31-page report, issued by a Commons Select Committee, has called for FIFA to: commission a full, urgent and independent investigation” into the allegations surrounding the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
It also said it found FIFA’s decision to drop investigations into alleged wrongdoing by Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago, who resigned from FIFA’s executive committee last month after 28 years rather than face corruption charges, as “extraordinary”.
Among a number of conclusions, the report stated: “We were appalled by the allegations of corruption made against members of the FIFA executive committee during the course of our inquiry.
“Although they have been challenged in other evidence, they are sufficiently serious for FIFA to commission a full, urgent and independent investigation and for the outcome to be made public.
“Instead, FIFA has given every impression of wishing to sweep all allegations of misconduct under the carpet and dismissing anyone bringing allegations to them with an approach bordering on contempt.”
The report urged FIFA to review its bidding process for future World Cups and to reform itself as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) did following allegations of bribery and corruption into Salt Lake City’s bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
However, the report said Blatter’s record did not inspire confidence that this would happen.
“We look to him now to fulfil the undertakings he gave at the time of his re-election to the presidency,” it said. “We urge the FA, and other national associations to ensure he is held to account for them.”
Committee member Damian Collins, MP, told Reuters in a telephone interview prior to the report’s publication: “We are very concerned at the contempt FIFA showed when the evidence was presented to them. It is absolutely shocking at how little scrutiny there is of how FIFA executive members go about their business. (Reuters)