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Wednesday 26 November 2014

See Whistle-Blower Who Took On FIFA Power Brokers.

One of the questions I've been asked the most in the 10 days since judge Hans-Joachim Eckert's summary was published of Michael
Garcia's report into the conduct of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, is the extent to which I'm upset with the comments about me as the 'Australian whistleblower.'
The answer is: not that much -- and there are two reasons.
First, the report is an investigation into FIFA of the world governing body's decisions and processes, conducted by Garcia who is paid by FIFA. The conclusions reached are that there's really nothing to worry about when it comes to FIFA. Surprise. Do you see the pattern here?
Second, while it wasn't nice to read what was written about me and it wasn't what I expected, it is also untrue.

I didn't expect to read about any of the 75 individuals with whom Garcia met, let alone to see Phaedra Al-Majid and me singled out in such negative terms.
Not only were the two of us referred to as "whistle-blowers" in the pejorative, but I was referred to as "unreliable" and Phaedra -- who worked on the successful Qatar bid -- was referred to as both "not credible" and "unreliable."
It was an extraordinary and unprofessional attack by one or both of the two men who preside over FIFA's Ethics Committee.

While Eckert or Garcia must have their reasons for so openly flouting standards of whistle-blower conventions, the important point is they also accepted the issues that I raised with them.
The issues that are subsequently presented in the summary report related to Australia -- and which Eckert refers to as "potentially problematic conduct" -- are amongst the matters I discussed with Garcia.
For me, this is the key point as the real issue is FIFA.
In any case, as Garcia himself has claimed, it is also easy to find errors in the summary report.
For example, in the section related to the former FIFA Executive Committee member, Mohamed Bin Hammam, it is noted that Oceania Football Confederation's (OFC) intention to support Australia's bid "was publicly reported as early as October 17, 2010."
It is curious that either Garcia or Eckert got this date wrong by 28 months because it goes to the heart of issues raised earlier in the summary report, and it is also relevant to what appears to be an illogical conclusion regarding the impact of Reynald Temarii's eventual absence from taking part in the final vote. 

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