As FIFA president Sepp Blatter opens today’s meeting of his executive committee in Marrakesh, it is becoming clear that a split has divided members over an inquiry into the bids by Russia and Qatar for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
It follows a suggestion by FIFA president Sepp Blatter that only those members who were on the committee for the 2010 vote should be allowed to vote on the report’s publication.
That would rule out more than half the current exco members and if Blatter tries to push that proposal through it would face strong opposition.
One FIFA member said: “If it is raised again I would strongly oppose it.”
FIFA has been hit by the resignation of its corruption investigator, Michael Garcia, over the handling of his report into the controversial bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Blatter has said that Garcia’s report will be at the centre of the two-day executive meeting in Marrakech, although no details of the official agenda have been given to the media.
Garcia quit as head of FIFA’s investigation chamber on Wednesday, hitting out at the “lack of leadership” by FIFA over the inquiry into the bids by Qatar and Russia.
The former US attorney resigned in protest at the summary of his report released by FIFA judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who cleared both Russia and Qatar of any wrongdoing and said that no new votes are necessary. FIFA rejected his appeal against this summary on Tuesday, declaring it “not admissible”.
UEFA president Michel Platini said that Garcia’s resignation was a “new failure” for the world game’s governing body. Platini, who has previously backed publishing the report, would be in favour of a free vote involving all members.
Blatter, 78, has said he will stand for a fifth term at a FIFA congress next year and is firm favourite to win.