FIFA, Garcia set to meet

Michael Garcia (AFP)
Michael Garcia (AFP)

Zurich - FIFA's ethics adjudicator Hans-Joachim Eckert will meet investigator Michael Garcia on Thursday to discuss their differences over the probe into the controversial bidding process for the 2018/2022 World Cups.

A source close to the investigation confirmed to Reuters that the meeting would take place on Thursday and said the location had not been decided. No other details were available.

World soccer's governing body FIFA was plunged into chaos last Thursday when Eckert, head of the ethics committee's adjudicatory chamber, said in a 42-page statement that there were no grounds to reopen the bidding process which led to Russia and Qatar getting the tournaments.

But three hours later, former U.S. prosecutor Garcia, the head of the investigatory chamber who spent 18 months probing allegations of corruption in the bidding process, said Eckert's statement had misrepresented his 430-page report.

Garcia also said he would take his case to FIFA's appeal committee, the latest twist in the investigation which has been dogged by delays and confusion over the exact procedure.

England, Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands were also bidding for the 2018 tournament and Japan, the United States, South Korea and Australia were bidding for 2022.

Earlier on Monday, former England FA chairman David Bernstein urged the FA to lobby European soccer's governing body UEFA to organise a European boycott of the next World Cup in Russia unless FIFA reforms itself.

German Football League president Reinhard Rauball has also warned that European soccer federations could pull out of FIFA if Garcia's complete report is not made public.

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