FIFA’s probe into the controversial bidding war for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has taken another twist following accusations from the organisation’s own investigator.
Earlier today the organisation’s ethics committee announced that it could find no grounds for reopening the bidding process of the two tournaments closing the case and confirming Russia and Qatar’s running of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments respectively.
Michael Garcia, a former New York district attorney, who spent 18 months investigating the World Cup race, responded furiously saying that the summary published by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of Adjudicatory Chamber did not reflect his findings.
“Today’s decision by the Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed in the Investigatory Chamber’s report,” said Garcia, adding that he would now appeal himself to the FIFA ethics committee,
The investigator, who spent 18 months gathering evidence from the nine bidding nations and interviewed more than 75 witnesses, previously said he favoured releasing as much of the 430-page reports as possible, with redactions, but Eckert insisted on only publishing his interim 42-page summary.
Garcia’s claims throw thresh controversy on an issue many had deemed closed earlier today when FIFA’s ethics committee concluded “the various incidents which might have occurred are not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole.”
The committee also criticised the English bid for the 2018 tournament for “inappropriate requests” from former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, a FIFA powerbroker at the time, and said that there were certain indications of potentially problematic conduct of specific individuals in the light of relevant FIFA Ethics rules in relation to Australia’s 2022 World Cup bid.