MARRAKECH: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has reiterated his determination that the world federation has no intention of reviewing the award of the 2022 World Cup finals to Qatar writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Blatter’s comments followed the executive committee’s decision to permit eventual publication of a report into the scandal which saw the finals handed to Russia in 2018 and the Gulf state four years later.
He said: “We will not revisit the 2018 and 2022 vote … there are no legal grounds to revoke the decision.”
An decisive assessment of the report drawn up by now-departed investigator Michael Garcia had been undertaken by Swiss businessman Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of the audit and compliance committee.
Scala’s report to the exco suggested that the difference between Garcia’s report and the summary by ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert had been overstated by the American.
It noted: “Differences . . . that may give the impression of changes to the content of the reports of [Michael Garcia and his deputy] are judgemental additions that can be recognised as such by reading the statement closely.
“Moreover, as far as the judgements made by the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber are concerned, it should be pointed out that he is entitled to make such judgements.”
Simply Eckert, as ethics judge, was entitled to make judgments on the evidence produced by Garcia, whether the American agreed with them or not.
The report also warned that, on the basis of Garcia’s report, there would be justification in retracting the World Cup award to Qatar and that to do would expose FIFA and the individual members of the exco to legal action.
Blatter’s comments countered earlier reports in Germany that the exco had set the Qatari organisers a March 15 deadline to create a commission monitoring the working and living standards of migrant construction workers.
However Blatter added: “I want to make it clear that our commitment to ethical standards is stronger than ever.”
# # # # #