FIFA executive to examine Garcia report

FIFA executive to examine Garcia report

FIFA’s executive committee will be able to see some parts of the Garcia investigation into World Cup bidding, it has been announced.

The decision follows a meeting by FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia and ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert at FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

A joint statement said US lawyer Garcia’s full report into his investigation into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would be passed to Domenico Scala, the chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, who determines how much of the information should be made available to FIFA’s executive committee.

Meanwhile, the investigation into World Cup bidding has seen Garcia open “formal cases” against a number of individuals.

It is not known how many people have had cases opened against them, or for what specific reasons. FIFA has also lodged a separate criminal complaint with the Swiss attorney general.

The statement added: “The investigatory chamber has already opened a number of formal cases against individuals as a result of that inquiry.”

“Neither the recent referral of the reports to the Swiss Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office nor the request to the chairman of the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee will interfere with those ongoing proceedings.”

The statement was released a few hours after it was claimed a FIFA executive committee member had been reported to the ethics committee after asking for “hard cash” in return for World Cup votes.

Les Murray, an Australian who was on the FIFA ethics committee at the time, reported the demand after being informed of it by people working for the Australia 2022 bid.

Sources with knowledge of the cash-for-votes demand said the FIFA Ex Co member asked for 5million US dollars (£3.19million) to build a sports centre.

Murray has now questioned why his report of the incident was not mentioned in ethics judge Eckert’s findings.

Murray wrote on his blog on the website of Australia broadcaster SBS: “Three years ago, when I was still on the FIFA ethics committee, I was informed by sources inside the Australian bid team that a member of the FIFA executive committee was asking the Australians for hard cash in return for votes.

“I reported this information up the chain of the ethics committee at the time, as was my duty, but I see no mention of it in Eckert’s report.”

Eckert last week cleared Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups saying rule breaches by the bidding countries were ”of very limited scope”.

Garcia responded by notifying FIFA that he intends lodge an appeal against the decision due to “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts”.

Meanwhile, Canover Watson, a member of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, has been charged with fraud, money-laundering and breach of trust by police in the Cayman Islands in relation to his role as the head of Cayman’s Health Service Authority. Watson, a vice-president of the Caribbean Football Union, has previously denied the allegations.

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