FIFA today released the full report of its inquiry into the bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. The Garcia Report, as it’s been nicknamed after investigator Michael Garcia, who commissioned the report in 2014, was leaked yesterday by German news outlet Bild. After the leak, FIFA decided to release the 430-page report in full.
The United States bid for the 2018 World Cup and the 2022 World Cup was highlighted in a separate document and reviewed the efforts from the U.S. Soccer Federation’s attempt to bring the world’s greatest tournament back to the United States. Upon reviewing the process the USSF undertook to get support, the Garcia Report found that U.S. Soccer followed FIFA regulations and did not violate any rules during the process. Among the findings:
-FIFA determined that there was no collusion between the USA bid and other bid committees or member associates to try and influence the process
-The U.S. bid accurately and properly reported all meetings and communications with FIFA Executive Committee (ExCo) members to the FIFA Ethics Committee and did not attempt to influence the bidding process through these communications.
-The U.S. bid followed all rules with regards to its use of government officials in promoting their bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.
-The U.S. bid did not violate any regulations in withdrawing its 2018 World Cup bid in an effort to focus on the 2022 World Cup bid.
-The U.S. bid did not violate any FIFA rules concerning gifts to ExCo members or other member association or bid committees.
In the end, the Garcia Report recommended no further inquiries or proceedings against anyone associated with the U.S. bid committee. For U.S. fans, this probably just serves as a reminder of they already knew: that the U.S. bid was clean, followed the rules, and somehow still lost out to Russia and Qatar.