U.S. Senator Schumer Wants FIFA Chief, Blatter, To Release 2014 Report Documenting Corruption

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Newly re-elected FIFA President Sepp Blatter

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged FIFA President Sepp Blatter to make the first action of his new Presidential term the release of the full 2014 report written by former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia, who, in 2012, was commissioned by FIFA to conduct an investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption.

Garcia’s full report was submitted in September 2014 but never fully released. Instead, in November 2014, the FIFA Ethics Committee issued an executive summary of the report, which Michael Garcia attested was “incomplete” and “full of erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions,” compelling his resignation from the FIFA appointment.

The Senator today said that, in light of the ongoing federal investigation, fans deserve to know the full scope of FIFA’s wrongdoing, and that the Garcia report may contain additional findings that would help FIFA root out what U.S. Attorney General has called “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted corruption.”

“With all we know now about FIFA’s corruption, collusion, and cronyism, it’s high time for this internal report to be released. If President Blatter doesn’t release the un-redacted report he deserves a red card – the public has a right to see the full Garcia report to fully understand what is going on behind the curtain at FIFA,” said Senator Schumer. “Until the public is satisfied that a full accounting has been made of the allegations that FIFA officials accepted bribes in exchange for sponsorships or the selection of international tournament locations, a cloud of corruption will hang over the organization and over the sporting events soccer fans across the world know and love.”

A copy of the Senator’s letter is below:

Dear President Blatter,

I congratulate you on your re-election as President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and I write to urge you to make the first action of your new term the release of the complete, un-redacted version of the 2014 report written by former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Michael Garcia. In light of the recent federal indictments by the United States Department of Justice, it is critical that FIFA release the full report. The executive summary of the report issued by the FIFA Ethics Committee Chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert in November 2014 was, in the words of the author of the report Michael Garcia, “materially incomplete” and contained “erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions.” The public has a right to know what unethical and illegal practices Garcia unearthed in the full report.

FIFA’s request that Michael Garcia, a former U.S. Attorney from New York, investigate the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids indicates your interest in ensuring that ethical standards are upheld within FIFA. Public comments made by yourself, as President, and by several high-ranking members of FIFA, have made your desire to root out corruption clear. However, the failure to release the full report to the general public demonstrates only a superficial commitment to ending corruption. To repair the damage caused by rampant allegations of corruption within the organization and diminishing public trust, FIFA must release the complete report.

Until the public is satisfied that a full accounting has been made of the allegations that FIFA officials accepted bribes in exchange for sponsorships or the selection of international tournament locations, a cloud of corruption will hang over the organization and over the sporting events soccer fans across the world know and love. If it is your stated interest to root out corruption within FIFA, fully publishing the most comprehensive report to date on the subject makes eminent sense.

You have an incredible opportunity at the start of your new term to usher in a new era of transparency in world soccer and begin to repair the damaged caused by multiple high-level members of your organization in recent days. In that spirit, I urge you to release a full, un-redacted version of the Garcia Report.

Thank you and I look forward to working with you to ensure the integrity of soccer worldwide.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer

 

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