World soccer body FIFA said on Thursday that it will hold a new review of an investigation into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, widening access to a report written by a former US prosecutor into alleged corruption.
The step was announced after a meeting in Zurich between lead investigator Michael Garcia, who led an 18-month probe into the controversial campaigns of Russia and Qatar, and German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.
The two have been at loggerheads over how much of the report should be made public.
Under their new accord, the whole report will be given to the head of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, who would then decide how much detail should be given to FIFA’s executive committee to decide any next steps.
Eckert said last week that Garcia’s investigation had not produced enough evidence to warrant a revote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
However, Garcia protested that Eckert had misrepresented his findings and declared that he would appeal against the actions of FIFA’s ethics judge.
The FIFA leadership has also faced widespread pressure to allow the full publication of the investigation.
Garcia and Eckert “agreed that it is of major importance that the FIFA Executive Committee has the information necessary to evaluate which steps are required based on the work done by the FIFA Ethics Committee,” a statement released after their meeting said. “In order to achieve this, the chairman of the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee [Dominic Scala] will receive full copies of all reports of the investigatory chamber ... to determine how much of that information should be made available to the FIFA Executive Committee. He then shall take the steps necessary to do so.”
Garcia and Eckert also offered to answer any questions that Scala might have, the two said.
Garcia’s investigation has already started cases against a number of individuals following the inquiry and the statement said any new review would not affect those cases.
In a separate statement, FIFA acknowledged Garcia and Eckert’s decision and stressed that the audit and compliance chief is “independent.”
It insisted that no other comment would be made.
Qatar has faced accusations of corruption virtually since it won the 2010 vote to hold the 2022 World Cup. The Gulf state has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
Eckert’s statement last week ruled out a revote for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, but within hours of the FIFA’s ethics committee head publishing a summary of Garcia’s report, the corruption probe was thrown into turmoil when Garcia said he intended to appeal against the findings.
Garcia, a former US federal prosecutor, claimed the summary contained “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions” detailed in his investigation.
His 350-page report summed up an investigation that involved interviewing more than 75 witnesses and compiling a dossier with more than 200,000 pages and audio interviews.
Controversy over the awarding of the next two World Cups had taken a further twist on Tuesday when FIFA lodged a criminal complaint over “possible misconduct” by individuals in connection with the bids.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on
Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given