[Zurich] FIFA's top judge said Friday that football's governing body cannot release in full a controversial report into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups for legal reasons.
FIFA has faced mounting calls, including from Michael Garcia, the former US federal prosecutor who led the investigation into the bid, for all of the report to be made public.
"Publishing the report in full would actually put the FIFA ethics committee and FIFA itself in a very difficult situation legally," Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the governing body's adjudicatory chamber said.
"What is more, we have to respect the personal rights of the people mentioned in the report, which in the case of full publication of the report would in all likelihood not be possible," he added in an interview released by the FIFA.com website.
Eckert said he is preparing a statement which should be released "by mid-November at the latest." The statement will contain "a summary of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations of the report, as well as a brief evaluation," the official added.
An intense spotlight has been put on the report following allegations that a former Qatari soccer chief paid national federation chiefs millions of dollars to back Qatar, which won the right to host the 2022 World Cup in a controversial 2010 vote by the FIFA executive committee.
Qatar, which also faces pressure over the dates of the tournament because of the searing summer temperatures in the Gulf state, has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
Garcia has called on FIFA to be more transparent and urged it "to authorise the appropriate publication" of his report. UEFA president Michel Platini and FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan have also called for full disclosure of the report. AFP