FIFA chiefs to hold talks after World Cup bids probe ends in shambles

FIFA chiefs to hold talks after World Cup bids probe ends in shambles

FIFA’s two ethics chiefs will hold talks in the next few days after the investigation into World Cup bidding descended into a shambles.

FIFA has confirmed it has received notification from ethics investigator Michael Garcia of his intention to challenge the decision to clear Qatar and Russia to host the 2022 and 2018 World Cups.

German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, the ethics adjudicator who had made the decision that there was no reason to re-run the bidding, said he would meet US lawyer Garcia for talks.

Eckert said: “Michael J. Garcia and I communicated today and decided to meet in the coming days. More information will be provided in due time,” he said.

Eckert’s findings also criticised England 2018 for its relationship with disgraced former FIFA executive member Jack Warner.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore insisted it was “grossly unfair” for England to have borne the brunt of criticism.

He told Sky Sports News: “It tells you a little bit about international football politics that the people who were singled out for most criticism in the report were the English. I think that’s probably grossly unfair.

“It is really unfair to pick on the English, but clearly the whole process has not been great and we need to somehow get the way these things are done changed for the future.”

Scudamore was part of the England 2018 bid delegation who attended the vote in December 2010.

He added: “The Garcia report should be out there in full, it’s the only way that we are in any way going to be able to move on really. If there is a report that has been done by an eminent investigator, really that report should be published in full so that we can all see it.”

Scudamore said the Premier League remained totally opposed to the Qatar 2022 World Cup being played in January – and that November/December should be “the very latest” if it is moved to avoid high summer temperatures.

He said: “If the Qatar World Cup is going to change – and we still believe that it is a summer tournament and it should be played in May, June, July or August – then our view is very simple: if we’re going to have to stop and start our season the sooner we do that the better.

“We would rather it be played in September, or October, or November – December at the very, very latest. It’s going to be huge interruption to our season and a huge interruption to every season quite frankly across Europe, and we hope that if there’s still any way that FIFA can avoid that interruption, that would be our preferred choice.”

Pressure has been growing on FIFA to publish Garcia’s report in full.

The president of the German Football League, Dr Reinhard Rauball, has added his voice to those demanding the publication, and suggested that UEFA should consider withdrawing from FIFA if the matter is not handled properly.

Rauball told Kicker magazine that the conflict between Garcia and Eckert over the report is having huge ramifications.

“The result was a breakdown in communication, and it has shaken the foundations of FIFA in a way I’ve never experienced before,” he said.

“As a solution, two things must happen: Not only must the decision of the ethics committee be published, but Mr Garcia’s bill of indictment too, so it becomes clear what the charges were and how they were judged.

“Additionally, the areas that were not evaluated [in the report] and whether that was justified [should be published]. It must be made public. That is the only way FIFA can deal with the complete loss of credibility.

“If this doesn’t happen and the crisis is not resolved in a credible manner, you have to entertain the question of whether you are actually still in good hands with FIFA.”

Asked how UEFA should respond if FIFA does not publish the report, he added: “One option that would have to bear serious consideration is certainly that UEFA leaves FIFA.”


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