Fifa whistleblowers Phaedra Almajid and Bonita Mersiades claim corruption report breached confidentiality and questioned credibility

Catherine Neilan
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Qatar World Cup: Questions about the process remain after report omnishambles (Source: Getty)
Whistleblowers who tried to raise the alarm bells over the Qatar and Australia World Cup bids have accused Fifa of trying to discredit them, and breaking promises to keep their identity confidential.
Phaedra Almajid, a former member of the Qatari team who quit in 2010, and Bonita Mersiades, who worked on the Australian bid, have confirmed they were among the witnesses who spoke with lawyer Michael Garcia while he was compiling his 430-page report.
The two have written to Garcia asking him to investigate a breach of confidentiality, claiming the 42-page summary put together by Fifa's ethics committee head Hans-Joachim Eckert made it clear who they were.
Despite having received “repeated promises” that the report would not be published and the identities of those Garcia spoke to would remain confidential, the summary “clearly breached all such assurances”.
“Although not named in the report, we were clearly identifiable and within hours of its publication had been widely unmasked as the ‘whistleblowers’ in German, British and Australian media,” the women claimed.
“To compound this situation, judge Eckert used his summary report to question our credibility,” they added. “This is particularly puzzling as the summary simultaneously uses the same information we provided to form significant parts of his inquiry in respect of the Australian and Qatar World Cup bids.”
Garcia is already taking his own case of misrepresentation to the Fifa appeals committee. He publicly slammed the summary just hours after it was published last week, saying what had been published “contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations”.
Separately the English FA has been urged to lobby Uefa for a European boycott of the next World Cup unless Fifa undergoes serious reform, including the resignation of Sepp Blatter.
The former FA chairman David Bernstein told the BBC he would "do everything I could to encourage other nations within Uefa... to take this line."
He added: "At some stage you have to walk the walk, stop talking and do something."

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