FIFA on Tuesday dismissed prosecutor Michael Garcia’s claim that the 42-page summary of his 430-page report about the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes -- which effectively cleared hosts Russia and Qatar of serious wrongdoing -- published by judge Hans Joachim-Eckert last month contained “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations" of his work. In denying Garcia’s appeal, the New York Daily News says soccer‘s world governing body is calling Eckert’s summary a personal interpretation of Garcia’s findings that is not legally binding in any way.
But this is not the end of the situation, not by a long shot. Garcia’s report has since been handed over to the head of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, Domenico Scala, who will decide how much information in the report should be made available to the 27-person strong executive committee (Ex-co). Following Scala’s determination, Garcia could appeal to the EU’s Court of Arbitration for Sport if he is still unsatisfied.
Separately, Switzerland, which is home to more than 60 sports federations, including the International Olympic Committee, just passed new laws regulating the financial affairs of FIFA and other sports groups based in the country, which could have massive implications. The Daily News also points out that the American FBI and IRS are separately pursuing an investigation of members of FIFA’s Ex-co for bribery and kickbacks.