Michael Garcia is FIFA’s prosecutor, and he is busier than he has ever been in his life. In an interview with the AP, Garcia reveals that FIFA investigations take “more of my time than I anticipated” since he was appointed last July. The former US Attorney used to prosecute financial crimes on Wall Street; now he is tasked with cleaning up the beautiful game.
According to the report, Garcia has powers granted under a FIFA Code of Ethics that was strengthened as part of President Sepp Blatter's promise to improve FIFA’s image. The old ethics system simply could not cope with the bribery and corruption allegations linked to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes, or Blatter’s election contest with Mohamed Bin Hammam, whom Garcia eventually banned for life due to financial mismanagement while he presided over the Asian Football Confederation.
Next, Garcia has several game-fixing allegations “on the radar screen.” He suggested that he might go after FIFA’s continental confederations, which “closely guard their autonomy and privileges,” as the report says to make sure there is no foul play there. Garcia explains that the new Code of Ethics “is a very new enterprise” for FIFA, which badly wants to fix its flagging image across the world in the wake of such high-profile scandals.