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Corruption watchdog calls on FIFA to publish bribery probe report

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Corruption watchdog calls on FIFA to publish bribery probe report

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Global corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) has joined calls urging FIFA to publish a probe into alleged bribery.

American lawyer Michael Garcia concluded an investigation into allegations of corruption surrounding the assignation of two World Cup hosts: Russia in 2018; and Qatar four years later.

Sepp Blatter, president of world football’s governing body, rejected calls in September for the report to be made public.

José Ugaz, chairman of TI, said: “Sport should be a role model of fair play but the ability for sport to act as a force for good in the world is compromised when sports organisations are not held to the highest standards of good governance and accountability.

“That’s why Transparency International wants to keep the pressure up on FIFA to make sure that anyone involved with bribery is held to account.

Mr Ugaz’s comments come after TI passed a resolution calling on FIFA to publish the report, saying the sport’s integrity is under threat.

It went on: “The ability for sport to act as a force for good in the world is compromised when sports organisations are not held to the highest standards of good governance and accountability.”

The report’s author has called for it to be published, as has UEFA president Michel Platini.

But Blatter said the report must remain confidential, adding that number of people in his executive committee made a specific request when the issue was raised at a FIFA meeting earlier in October.

The Sunday Times alleged in a report that former Fifa vice-president Mohamed bin Hammam paid £3m to football officials around the world in return for support for the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid.

The Qatar bid committee says it “always upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity in its successful bid to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup”.