Garcia report expected to criticise dual award process for World Cups

Photo: Action Images / Andrew Boyers

Michel D'Hooghe speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention 2014. Photo: Soccerex/Action Images


By Steve Menary
Awarding the rights to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals at the same time was a mistake: that is likely to be one of the key conclusions in the independent report into the process.

New York lawyer Michael Garcia submitted his 350-page report last week and Belgian FIFA ExCo member Michel D’Hooghe told the Soccerex conference in Manchester yesterday that running a process for two World Cups was a mistake.

D’Hooghe, who said he has not seen the report, said: “Two candidatures decided together was a mistake. We were under pressure from the marketing boys who said we can have longer contracts. That was absolutely a mistake and will be one of the conclusions in Michael Garcia’s report.”

Another senior FIFA member, Jeffrey Webb, told the conference that the whole report should be made public.

 “The Garcia report should be made public in full,” said Webb, who added that for the process to be re-run there would need to “clearly have to be a breach in code of ethics if bribery or corruption is proven.”

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was scheduled to open the conference, but did not appear. Instead, a pre-recorded interview was screened. In this exchange, Blatter said only that the decision by the head of the independent adjudicatory chamber would be made public.

Blatter said: “This tribunal, the adjudicatory chamber, has another boss there, a high judge of Bavaria, Mister Eckhart. He then has to take a decision which will then be communicated to the FIFA executive committee and then to the world.”

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