Prince Ali calls for immediate publication of Garcia report into World Cup bidding corruption


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FIFA Presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has called for the immediate publication of lawyer Michael Garcia’s report into allegations of corruption in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes.

Prince Ali, the Jordanian Football Association chief who lost out to suspended Sepp Blatter in the Presidential election in Zurich earlier this year, believes Garcia’s report should be made public because “people need to know what is going on at FIFA”.

Garcia, the former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, resigned from his role as FIFA’s independent ethics investigator in December 2014 after world football’s governing body decided not to release his report in full.

Instead, a 42-page summary was published, which cleared Russia and Qatar of wrongdoing in their successful bids to win the hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments respectively.

This prompted Garcia to question the handling of the affair and he described the summary as “incomplete and erroneous”.

The bid processes for both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments are currently the subject of a criminal investigation by Swiss authorities and it is thought the full report won’t be made public until their probe has been concluded.

Prince Ali believes FIFA need to have some “basic norms” in order to rebuild its tarnished reputation in the wake of a series of scandals, the latest of which saw Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini suspended from all footballing activity for eight years.

He also feels more attention needs to be paid to developing football nations and that FIFA needs “proper consultation with everyone”.

Michael Garcia resigned last year after a summary of his report which he described as incomplete and erroneous was published
Michael Garcia resigned last year after a summary of his report, which he described as incomplete and erroneous, was published ©Getty Images

“I believe FIFA has a future if we stakeholders, players, coaches, referees and fans work all together to revamp its organisation and reputation,” he said.

“I have been visiting many clubs and organisations in developing countries, and the majority of the 2009 FIFA national member associations are developing countries.

“Their interests must be better served and protected in the future.

“We have to get right, we need proper consultation with everyone, including the clubs, including the leagues, and every service organisation.

“Football is not only for the love and fascination of sports, but also very important for our society, for our children and for families.”

Asian Football Confederation President Sheikh Salman bin Al-Khalifa, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, Frenchman Jerome Champagne and South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale are the others vying for the FIFA Presidency.

Blatter’s successor will be appointed at the Extraordinary Elective Congress in Zurich on February 26.

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