STOCKHOLM, (Reuters) – FIFA could learn a lot from the Nordic model of transparency and openness and should release the Garcia corruption report in full, according to the chairman of the Swedish Football Association (SvFF).
“We live in a country where we are used to transparency and openness, and it is much easier as one doesn’t have to doubt or speculate about what is in different documents,” SvFF chairman Karl-Erik Nilsson told Reuters in an interview.
“If one is open about what is there, one can better discuss the contents. For us, it’s a given that it is better to publish this kind of report.”
Only a 42-page statement based on a report by American lawyer Michael Garcia investigating allegations of corruption over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar has been released.
FIFA has been reluctant to publish the full report, citing concerns over confidentiality. “We are aware that certain people have testified under the condition that it would not be made public,” Nilsson said.
“But in that case, try to do something to make sure that it’s not apparent who they are so that the report can be published.”
The 57-year-old former referee welcomed the fact that World Cup will be hosted outside its traditional strongholds of Europe and South America, but said more questions should have been asked in advance, particularly in relation to Qatar.
“Much greater demands should have been placed on ethical questions related to workers’ rights, and one should of course have reflected over the summer temperatures,” he said.
“In future, there is a need to be more diligent and to ask more questions before the decision is taken.”
Nilsson, who took over the running of the game’s governing body in Sweden in 2012, is no stranger to politics, having spent 12 years as chairman of the municipality of Emmaboda on Sweden’s south-eastern coast.