Garcia quits Fifa over World Cup report controversy

Published December 17th, 2014 - 05:50 GMT

Michael Garcia has resigned from Fifa's ethics committee in protest over the handling of his report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

On Tuesday the former United States attorney was told he would not be allowed to appeal the decision of the game's world governing body to not publish his entire findings into the voting campaigns behind both tournaments.

Garcia produced a 430-page report, which expressed concerns over numerous incidents during both processes, before the staging of the competitions were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of Fifa's independent Ethics Committee then opted to release only a condensed 42-page version of his findings.

That move was fiercely protested by Garcia, who claimed the edited summary contained "erroneous representations of the facts" and he has now opted to step down after failing to force Fifa's hand.

He said in a statement on Wednesday: "My report identified serious and wide-ranging issues with the bidding and selection process.

"Concerned that insufficient transparency would not serve Fifa's interests, I issued a public statement calling on the Fifa Executive Committee to authorise the appropriate publication of the report.

"The Executive Committee took no action on this subject during its September 2014 meetings - other than to refer me to the Fifa Disciplinary Committee for allegedly violating the Code of Ethics through my public comments.

"Namely, my public request that the Executive Committee authorise appropriate publication of the report and the on-the-record statement Mr. Borbely (Deputy Chair of the Investigatory Chamber) and I released concerning watches given to certain football officials. The Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, Claudio Sulser, ultimately rejected the Executive Committee's referral.

"A brief I filed with the Fifa Appeal Committee on November 24, 2014, outlined the Eckert Decision's most serious failings. No response could justify the Eckert Decision's edits, omissions, and additions.

"Yesterday's decision by the Appeal Committee declined to address these points. I disagree with the Appeal Committee's decision. A further appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport would not be practicable in this case. No independent governance committee, investigator, or arbitration panel can change the culture of an organisation."

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