FIFA, the organization that governs the World Cup, has decided not to revisit the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup to Russia and Qatar respectively. The group also announced that the extensive report prepared by an investigator into accusations that the two nations bribed soccer officials to gain the event is to be delayed and likely even redacted, reports say.
The sport’s governing body declared that even though there were obvious “irregularities” in the bidding process for the ’18 and ’22 games, no legal grounds exist to revoke the awarding of the games. Therefore, all charges of bribery will be summarily dismissed. Accordingly, the governing body simply announced that “the crisis has stopped because we again have the unity in our government.”
Along with its refusal to further consider the charges of bribery, FIFA announced that the 430-page report prepared by American lawyer Michael Garcia might be released at a later date but perhaps only in a redacted form.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter did not set a date for the release of the report but said that if released it would be a “legally appropriate version.”
“It is clear that while a summary of the report was issued, the publication of this report has become a barrier to rebuilding public confidence and trust in FIFA,” Blatter said in a statement. “We need to ensure that we respect the rules of our organization and that we do not breach confidentiality in a way that will prevent people from speaking out in the future.”
But the report’s author resigned in disgust on Thursday implying that FIFA lacked the leadership to make the changes necessary to bring integrity back to the sport.
Garcia said that the recent decisions made him “lose confidence in the independence of the Adjudicatory Chamber.” He went on to say, “it is the lack of leadership on these issues within FIFA that leads me to conclude that my role in this process is at an end.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com