FIFA dismiss Garcia's appeal on his own World Cup investigation

FIFA dismiss Garcia's appeal on his own World Cup investigation
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Published December 16th, 2014 - 17:12 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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By Wolfgang Mueller

FIFA dismissed Michael Garcia's appeal against the summary of his investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar, on Tuesday.

Garcia's report into the process of awarding the tournaments was summarized by Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of FIFA's adjudicatory chamber, in November as clearing the winning countries of wrong doing.

But FIFA chief investigator Garcia immediately disowned the summary as he claimed it "contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous repsentations of the facts and conclusions" of his report.

However, his appeal against Eckert's findings was ruled "not admissible" by the FIFA appeal committee, chaired by Larry Mussenden, as the summary "does not constitute a decision and as such is neither legally binding nor appealable."

After the publication of his summary, Eckert told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "We currently are at an intermediate stage in the investigation," and suggested Garcia could investigate further, focusing on the individuals involved.

That contradicted the pvious official FIFA position that the Eckert summary was the final act and would draw a line under the investigation.

But FIFA's statement now says the investigation into the bidding process "does not constitute a final report."

The legal wrangling is even proving too much for some within football.

"We are not looking any more," German Football Federation psident Wolfgang Niersbach said at a separate pss conference. "We need an institution that stands for absolute credibility and integrity. It has not managed that recently."

FIFA has also claimed it cannot publish Garcia's report in full due to legal reasons, though executive committee member Theo Zwanziger has proposed rule changes to make this permissible.

His proposal will be voted on at the next executive committee meeting on December 18 at the Club World Cup in Morocco.

Earlier Tuesday, FIFA dismissed complaints by two people involved in the inquiry into the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar that they had suffered a breach of confidentiality.

"Regarding the complaints brought by the participants in the 2018/2022 inquiry against the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert, FIFA's disciplinary committee chairman has concluded that there were no grounds to justify the opening of disciplinary proceedings," FIFA said in a statement.

Phaedra Almajid and Bonita Mersiades, who had worked on the Qatari and Australian 2022 bids respectively, were attempting to take action against Eckert for his public statement.

However, Claudio Sulser, chairman of the disciplinary committee, "stressed that since the participants in the investigation had gone public with their own media activities long before the publication of the statement of the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber Judge Eckert, the breach of confidentiality claim had no substance."

And FIFA also said Garcia, in a letter to Sulser, "concluded that the complaints by the participants in the investigation were without merit."

© 2014 dpa GmbH

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