Sepp Blatter rules out FIFA revisiting vote for 2018, 2022 World Cups

FIFA will not reopen the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, and will publish at least some of the confidential report into the bidding process, president Sepp Blatter said on Friday.

The 78-year-old Blatter, who is seeking a fifth term as president, said the decisions by the FIFA executive committee on Friday will allow the governing body to move on from four years of controversy.

"We have been in a crisis,'' Blatter said. "The crisis has stopped because we again have the unity in our government.''

Blatter said "external legal experts" supported the view that "there are no legal grounds" to revoke the controversial vote in 2010 to award the World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

FIFA's executive committee agreed that an "appropriate" form of the report into World Cup bidding by Michael Garcia, the ethics investigator who resigned earlier this week, should be published but with names and other details removed.

Officials at a meeting in Morocco agreed to the proposal without a vote being taken, but nothing will be published until the ethics committee's charges against three FIFA ExCo members -- Angel Villar Llona of Spain, Belgium's Michel D'Hooghe and Thailand's Worawi Makudi -- have been dealt with.

Garcia quit a day after the FIFA appeals panel rejected his challenge of German judge and fellow ExCo colleague Hans-Joachim Eckert's summary of the confidential 430-page investigation dossier.

Despite announcing that a version of Garcia's report will be made public, Blatter insists that both Russia and Qatar will remain the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, respectively.

"The report is about history and I am focused on the future," Blatter said in a FIFA statement on Friday. "We will not revisit the 2018 and 2022 vote and a report by independent, external legal experts commissioned by Mr. [Domenico] Scala [independent Audit and Compliance Committee chairman] supports the view that there are no legal grounds to revoke the Executive Committee's decision on the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

"We are already in the process of incorporating recommendations made by independent experts including the Ethics Committee for how the FIFA World Cup selection process can be improved so that everyone can be confident that the 2026 bidding process will be fair, ethical and open."

Blatter had asked the FIFA ExCo to vote in favour of publishing Garcia's report upon Scala's guidance, saying: "I am pleased they have agreed. It has been a long process to arrive at this point and I understand the views of those who have been critical.

"We have always been determined that the truth should be known. That is, after all, why we set up an independent Ethics Committee with an investigatory chamber that has all necessary means to undertake investigations on its own initiative.

"At the same time we also need to remember that while the report is complete, the investigations flowing from it are not. We must ensure that we do not jeopardise those investigations and the proceedings against various individuals already initiated by the independent Ethics Committee. Participants in the investigation also deserve to have their rights respected."

Blatter announced that the FIFA ExCo has appointed Cornel Borbely as acting chairman of the investigatory chamber of the independent ethics committee to replace Garcia, with a vote due on May 29 next year.

FIFA rejected complaints from whistleblowers earlier this week over the conduct of Eckert alleging that he deliberately breached anonymity clauses in a summary of Garcia's report.