Greg Dyke: Public confidence in Fifa hit new low

FA chairman Greg Dyke has called for "urgent action". Picture: PA

FA chairman Greg Dyke has called for "urgent action". Picture: PA

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FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION chairman Greg Dyke has called for “urgent action” by Fifa members to ensure ethics investigator Michael Garcia’s report into World Cup bidding is published in full.

Dyke has written to every Fifa executive committee member calling for them to back publication. It follows Garcia’s move to appeal against the decision by Fifa ethics committee judge Hans-Joachim Eckert to clear Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, having found no serious breaches of bidding rules by either nation.

Eckert has refused to publish the full report and Dyke states that public confidence in Fifa has hit a new low, while there is “compelling evidence” of wrongdoing.

Dyke’s letter states: “As you probably know the reputation of Fifa was already low in England and much of Europe before the events of last week.

“The failure to publish Mr Garcia’s report, and his statement that the summary report which was published contained ‘numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations’, has resulted in a further decline in public confidence of Fifa. We cannot go on like this.

“Complete transparency is required if the actions of all those who bid, including England 2018, are to be judged fairly.”

Dyke’s letter says critical media reports about Fifa and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar cannot be dismissed in the same way that Fifa president Sepp Blatter did in June when he blamed it on “racism” by the English media.

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It adds: “I know some of you believe that Fifa’s reputation in England is the result of an obsession amongst the English media with Fifa and I know Mr Blatter sees their reports as an unfair attack on the organisation he leads.

“However, in England we see it differently. The reports... do provide compelling evidence of wrongdoing. They cannot be simply dismissed as ‘racist’ or ‘an attack on Fifa’ as Mr Blatter described them at the Fifa Congress in Brazil.

“Urgent action is needed if confidence in Fifa is to be rebuilt in England. The FA is of the view that this action should start with the full publication of Mr Garcia’s report.”

Meanwhile, the two whistleblowers at the centre of World Cup corruption allegations have made a formal complaint to Fifa that promises of confidentiality have been breached.

Phaedra Almajid, who worked for the Qatar 2022 bid team before losing her job in 2010, said promises that her identity would be protected had been crucial to her co-operation with the ethics investigation.

She and Bonita Mersiades, who worked for Australia 2022’s bid, have separately registered formal complaints against Eckert claiming his findings contained more than enough information to make the two whistleblowers easily identifiable from previous publicly-reported statements.

Almajid states her safety and that of her sons has been put at risk, saying in a letter to Garcia: “Identifying me and falsely discrediting me sends a message to anyone who may think to come forward that their credibility and protection will be in jeopardy for the rest of their lives.”

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