ZURICH: Jerome Champagne, the only declared opponent to Sepp Blatter in the FIFA presidential election next year, wants to see the world football federation publish Michael Garcia’s report into the 2018-2022 World Cup bid scandal writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The 56-year-old Frenchman worked close to Blatter at FIFA for 11 years before being ousted in January 2010 after political fall-outs with the Asian and European confederations.
Last spring he launched his candidacy for the presidency despite conceding that Blatter would be runaway favourite. Blatter is expected later this week to confirm formally his intention to seek a fifth term.
One of the storms overshadowing FIFA’s political landscape over the past three years has concerned the World Cup hosting awards to Russia in 2018 and to Qatar in 2022. Independent ethics investigator Garcia has submitte a 430-age report to Bavarian judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.
However, the two men disagree over whether the report should be published. Garcia is in favour, Eckert against.
Champagne is among supporters of Garcia on this issue.
He said: “We need to know is in the report because the World Cup is the biggest event of its kind in the world and we need to protect its’ sanctity.’ A good legal system involves explaining publicly what has happened and why any person or persons should be indicted or not.
“Also, we need to know because it’s an important step in rebuilding and rehabilitating the image and reputation of FIFA in public opinion.”
Other supporters of publications include FIFA vice-presidents Prince Ali of Jordan (Asia), Jeff Webb (CONCACAF) and Jim Boyce (Britain) plus American exco member Sunil Gulati.