FIFA to see corruption report

Michael Garcia (AFP)
Michael Garcia (AFP)

Zurich - Details of the investigation into allegations of widespread corruption in the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups could be made available to FIFA, the governing body has said on Thursday.

Following a meeting between former US federal prosecutor Michael Garcia, who led the 18-month probe into the controversial campaigns of Russia and Qatar, and German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, it was agreed further steps were possible to throw light on the affair.

"The chairman of the adjudicatory chamber (Eckert) and the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee (Garcia) met today to discuss the recent developments," said a FIFA statement.

"Both chairmen agreed that it is of major importance that the FIFA Executive Committee has the information necessary to evaluate which steps are required based on the work done by the FIFA Ethics Committee.

"In order to achieve this, the chairman of the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee will receive full copies of all reports of the investigatory chamber...to determine how much of that information should be made available to the FIFA Executive Committee.

"He then shall take the steps necessary to do so. The chairmen also offered to answer any questions the chairman of the Audit and Compliance Committee and the Executive Committee might have."

FIFA cleared Russia and Qatar, the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts respectively, of corruption and ruled out a re-vote for the tournaments despite widespread allegations of wrongdoing.

But within hours of FIFA's ethics committee publishing a summary of Garcia's report last week, the corruption probe was thrown into turmoil when Garcia said he intended to appeal against the findings.

He claimed the summary contained "numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions" detailed in his investigation.

Garcia's 350-page report summed up an investigation that involved interviewing more than 75 witnesses and compiling a dossier with more than 200 000 pages and audio interviews.

Controversy over the awarding of the next two World Cups had taken a further twist on Tuesday when FIFA lodged a criminal complaint over "possible misconduct" by individuals in connection with the bids.

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