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Sunil Gulati pushing FIFA to make corruption report public

The U.S. Soccer president and FIFA executive committee member is looking to change FIFA.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

FIFA has said that anything that comes from the investigation into 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid corruption will not be made public. Not the initial report that former U.S. attorney Michael Garcia, who led the investigation, turned into the adjudicatory committee, and not the report that the committee turns over to FIFA with individual sanctions and recommendations for change.

But Sunil Gulati is trying to change that. He wants it all to be made public, from every interview to the conclusions, and is campaigning people at FIFA to make it happen.

"If we're going to truly support the idea of transparency and change within FIFA, it has to be made public in the truest meaning of the word," Gulati told the New York Times. "That doesn't mean only to the executive committee. It has to be more.

"Right now, the whole story is not about what's in the report but whether it should be made public. And that isn't ideal for anyone."

Clearly, Gulati is making change at FIFA a priority, and he has support. Prince Ali Bin-Hussein, a FIFA vice-president from Jordan, has supported making the report public, while three other executive committee members have made public comments in support of it. That makes for 21 percent of the executive committee.

There was some skepticism when Gulati was named to the executive committee. As president of U.S. Soccer, Americans want to believe he would do the right thing and push for the changes that many in the country believe need to be made at FIFA. But at the same time, U.S. Soccer has supported Sepp Blatter and other nefarious FIFA members before. Was that just a necessary political move or did Gulati and Co. not have the stomach to take a stand.

It appears now that Gulati is willing to take a stand. He does really want change and he's willing to go public in his pursuits. He still won't do everything perfectly and he has shown that he will play the political game when necessary, even if it looks bad on face, but his actions are clear: he thinks FIFA needs change and he's going to wield whatever power he has to make it happen.