THE president of the German Football League has warned that Uefaâ€™s 54 member nations could take the ultimate step of quitting Fifa if Michael Garciaâ€™s report into World Cup bidding is not published in full.
Dr Reinhard Rauball laid bare the tensions within Fifa over the split between the ethics committee judge, Hans-Joachim Eckert, and Garcia, the US attorney who heads the investigatory arm and spent 18 months probing the race for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Garcia has disowned Eckertâ€™s summary of his 430-page report, which effectively cleared Russia and Qatar.
â€œThe result was a breakdown in communication, and it has shaken the foundations of Fifa in a way Iâ€™ve never experienced before,â€ said Rauball.
â€œAs a solution, two things must happen. Not only must the decision of the ethics committee be published, but Mr Garciaâ€™s bill of indictment too, so it becomes clear what the charges were and how they were judged,â€ he told the German website kicker.de.
â€œAdditionally, the areas that were not evaluated [in the report] and whether that was justified [should be published]. It must be made public. That is the only way Fifa can deal with the complete loss of credibility.â€
He said that if the report was not published in full â€“ and Eckert has already said that he will not do that, while Fifa argues it cannot intervene â€“ then Uefa should consider its own position within Fifa. â€œIf this doesnâ€™t happen and the crisis is not resolved in a credible manner, you have to entertain the question of whether you are still in good hands with Fifa,â€ Rauball added. â€œOne option that would have to bear serious consideration is certainly that Uefa leaves Fifa.â€
Rauballâ€™s intervention comes against the backdrop of Uefaâ€™s calls for the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, to stand down, as he promised to do at the end of his current four-year term. Although the Uefa president, Michel Platini, has opted against standing against Blatter in next yearâ€™s election, Uefa is continuing to cast around for an alternative candidate to take on the 78-year-old Swiss.
Before the Brazil World Cup, a series of speakers at Uefaâ€™s congress stood up to call for Blatter to make his current term his last, while the FA chairman, Greg Dyke, denounced Blatter for claiming corruption allegations in the media were motivated by racism.
Fifa confirmed on Friday night that it had received formal notification of Garciaâ€™s intention to take Eckertâ€™s summary of his investigation to its appeals committee.
Meanwhile, one of the two whistleblowers discredited in Eckertâ€™s statement, Bonita Mersiades, the head of communications for Australiaâ€™s 2022 bid, was scathing in her assessment of Fifaâ€™s handling of the investigation. â€œItâ€™s an organisation that, in terms of governance, is just a farce,â€ she said.
â€œThe only people that come out well in that summary report by Eckert is Fifa. [It says] they got their decisions right in respect to Qatar and Russia, and thereâ€™s even a sentence and a reference in there that Sepp Blatter ran a wonderful process. Itâ€™s almost like high comedy.â€ – The Guardian