FIFA has released the previously confidential Garcia report into alleged corruption surrounding the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process. Previously the report, compiled in 2104 by American lawyer Michael Garcia, was said to be private and would never be released by FIFA. Garcia, hired as an independent ethics investigator, quit when FIFA instead released a 42-page version of his report which acted as a summary of his findings, as he clashed with FIFA’s now former chairmen of the ethics committee, Cornel Borbely and Hans-Joachim Eckert.
Jurgen Klinsmann had quashed speculation linking him with taking the vacant managerial position at Sunderland. The Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League last season and as they prepare for life in England’s second-tier they are managerless and American owner Ellis Short is still searching for a new owner for the club.
The staging of the 2018 World Cup brings scrutiny of Russia’s record on racism and xenophobia and at the same time prompts fears of hooligan attacks in the minds of some travelling supporters. Russia’s authorities and anti-discrimination activists are aware that they need to convince the international community that steps are being taken to rid the country of its unfavourable reputation and demonstrate that genuine efforts are being made to ensure the long-term eradication of any racist or xenophobic sentiment – especially in the immediate vicinity of football. “We Are Russia Against Discrimination” was launched in March this year backed by the All Russian Football Players Union (ARFPU) and is intended to fight racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Russian football.