FIFA ethics judge: 'Surprised' at criticism over World Cup bid report

Friday November 14th, 2014

FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert said he is “surprised” by FIFA prosecutor Michael Garcia criticizing him over the 42-page report clearing Russia and Qatar of corruption after two countries were chosen to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, according to the BBC.

Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA's independent ethics committee, said that FIFA’s investigation of the bidding process is closed. But Garcia has said he will appeal Eckert's decision to close the investigation, saying the report "contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed" in his own report.

Garcia said he did not see Eckert's summary of the report before its publication and release to the public.

"I'm surprised, not shocked. I'm a long time in the job here. I don't think anything surprises me. A lot of my report was word for word from the Garcia report," Eckert said to the BBC.

Garcia said he wants the report to be published in full, but Eckert said that is not going to happen. FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb and U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati also called for the full Garcia report to be made public, saying it’s "in the best interest of the game and FIFA."

"I don't think that's possible because I have to respect the rights of confidentiality for continental law," Eckert said. "Maybe it's another thing in the U.S., but in continental law I can't do it, and I can't do it in total even by the FIFA code of ethics. I will not do it."

Eckert also said that he planned to talk to Garcia at a later time.​

WAHL: FIFA World Cup report clears Russia, Qatar; omits some of Garcia's probe

- Scooby Axson

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