Former US prosecutor Michael Garcia’s appeal against the handling of his alleged corruption around the Russian and Qatar bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has been rejected by FIFA.
FIFA-appointed independent judge Hans-Joachim Eckert released Garcia’s, who spent two years investigating World Cup corruption claims, findings as a 42-page summary.
Garcia said that his summary was incomplete and erroneous and he appealed against it to FIFA’s Appeal Committee. However, it has now ruled that Garcia’s complaint is not admissible, The BBC reported.
In a statement, FIFA said that German Eckert’s summary was neither legally binding nor appealable.
FIFA had appointed Garcia to lead the investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar following a series of damaging allegations.
FIFA also dismissed a complaint by two whistleblowers who said their confidentiality was compromised after they gave evidence to Garcia’s inquiry. Phaedra Al Majid and Bonita Mersiades, who worked for the Qatari and Australian bid teams respectively, spoke to FIFA about alleged corruption on condition of anonymity.
They said that they were clearly identifiable when Eckert’s summary of Garcia’s report was released. However, FIFA says there are no grounds for opening disciplinary proceedings.
There have been calls to release the full report in the wake of Garcia’s complaint, but FIFA has said that it cannot do so for legal reasons.
However, FIFA is meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, this week when it will vote on an amendment to its ethics code that could lead to an edited version of the full report being released.