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FIFA Releases World Cup Corruption Probe After Leaks

The report was suppressed by FIFA after it was submitted in 2014.

Soccer's world governing body, FIFA, has released the full text of a controversial investigative report into bidding by Russia and Qatar for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups after the report was leaked to the German media.

The report by Michael Garcia, who was FIFA's chief ethics investigator, was suppressed by FIFA after it was submitted in 2014.

Garcia resigned over FIFA's handling of his report, which suggested that Qatar had taken inappropriate steps to persuade FIFA delegates from numerous countries to vote for the Persian Gulf country to be awarded the World Cup.

FIFA's decision on June 27 to publish the report came one day after Germany's biggest-selling daily newspaper, Bild, began publishing extracts from it.

The 430-page report apparently confirms that several countries who were bidding to host the soccer championship -- which is held every four years -- tried to bribe officials to gain their votes.

The investigation team led by Garcia -- who is now a U.S. judge in New York -- found that Russia destroyed computers used in its successful bid to host the 2018 World Cup, making it difficult to prove allegations that Russia used unfair means to win the bid.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter was banned in 2015 for six years following an internal ethics investigation and the arrests of several FIFA officials on corruption-related charges initiated by the United States.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters