In a shocking revelation, The Guardian newspaper reports that Michael Garcia, FIFA’s lead ethics investigator, has opted not to examine documents revealed in The Sunday Times explosive report. Garcia is in the process of finishing a comprehensive report on the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and the allegations of bribery.
It appears with fresh evidence that could give more clarity to the situation, FIFA is more interested in imposing its own arbitrary deadline than getting to the bottom of the evidence in this matter. Examination of the new evidence would only delay release of the report by a few weeks but FIFA seems determined to shove the issue under the rug once the 2014 World Cup begins on June 12.
According to The Guardian newspaper,
“But the fact that Garcia will not properly analyze the evidence from the Sunday Times database, which will form the basis of further allegations about the Qatar bid in the weeks to come, will raise concerns that he has already formed a view.
“Jim Murphy, the shadow secretary for international development, said: ‘If the Garcia investigation refuses to accept the Sunday Times evidence the process will be a sham and Fifa will be forever tainted. Corruption must be tackled.’
“Meanwhile, Michel Platini, the president of the European football federation, Uefa, is discussing the possibility of leading a sit-down protest when Blatter announces his intention to stand again as Fifa’s president in Brazil next week.
“Platini, who is increasingly considered unlikely to challenge Blatter for the top job, may ask the heads of the 54 European FAs to remain seated when the majority of the other 155 Fifa members rise to acclaim the announcement as a means of registering disapproval at Blatter’s decision to stand for a fifth term despite earlier promising to stand down.”
One thing is for sure. Life is never dull at FIFA headquarters.