The British Government has weighed into the FIFA controversy by urging the world governing body to publish the Garcia report into World Cup bidding in full.
Sajid Javid MP, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, has written to FIFA president Sepp Blatter saying the report should be made public in the interests of transparency.
United States attorney Michael Garcia, FIFA’s chief ethics investigator, has compiled a 430-page report into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups won by Russia and Qatar respectively.
In his letter Javid says: “Without the disclosure of the full report, FIFA risks not just further damage to its own credibility, but now significant damage to the reputation of football as a whole.
“I understand there are challenges around confidentiality within the report, but this is a challenge faced by many public bodies in conducting their work in an open and transparent way.
“It should not be beyond FIFA, working with those who contributed with an expectation of confidentiality, to publish the full report in a format that does not contravene assurances of confidentiality where they cannot be waived.
“FIFA is rightly proud of having a membership greater in number than the United Nations. With that in mind, FIFA has a public duty to operate with the highest ethical standards, and with the levels of transparency and good governance expected from an international body representing 209 nations, hundreds of millions of players and billions of supporters.”
The controversy over the report blew up earlier in November when ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert cleared Russia and Qatar to host the World Cups but criticised England over its bid for the 2018 tournament.
Garcia responded by announcing he would appeal against Eckert’s decision and the pair had talks last week to try to come to a resolution.
Following their meeting it was announced that FIFA’s audit and compliance committee chairman Domenico Scala will look at Garcia’s report to decide how much of it should be made available to the world governing body’s executive committee to see.