Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, called on FIFA to release a corruption report that reviews the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments. The completed investigation was undertaken by former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia and has not been made public. The U.S. competed to host the 2022 tournament. Casey has previously called on FIFA to reallocate the 2022 World Cup from Qatar over labor practices in the country. An investigation by the Sunday Times has unearthed serious allegations of bribery and corruption in the lead up to the selection.
“I’m troubled by the lack of transparency coming from FIFA and their refusal to commit to making this report public,” Senator Casey said. “The public deserves to know if these World Cups were awarded on the basis of bribery and corruption. Former U.S. Attorney Garcia and numerous FIFA representatives have called for this report to be made public. FIFA’s leadership should heed those calls.”
The full text of Senator Casey’s letter can be seen below:
Joseph S. Blatter
Fédération Internationale de Football Association
FIFA Strasse 20
P.O. Box 8044
Thank you for the response provided by Secretary General Jérome Valcke to my June 20 letter that highlighted my concerns about the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup awarded to Qatar as well as the workers’ rights and safety concerns in Qatar. My letter today is in regard to the FIFA ethics investigation mentioned in the June 27 response letter and a lack of transparency in that investigation.
In FIFA’s letter Mr. Valcke stated that “the FIFA Ethics Committee is currently investigating the bidding processes of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The letter went on to state that FIFA was “therefore not in a position to provide additional comments other than refer to what has been publicly stated by the Ethics Committee.”
I am concerned by your recent comments that the completed investigative report by Michael Garcia, a former U.S. Attorney, will not be released to the public. Mr. Garcia has called for his report to be made public as have numerous FIFA representatives including U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati.
The lack of transparency regarding a corruption investigation is troubling. Full transparency is required given the investigative reporting and widespread allegations of improper payments connected to the bidding for the 2022 World Cup that saw the U.S. lose out to Qatar.
I urge FIFA to make public Mr. Garcia’s entire investigative report and that any wrongdoing be swiftly addressed especially if there is evidence that the vote for the 2022 World Cup was tainted and disadvantaged the U.S. bid.
Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
United States Senate