Michael Garcia, the man FIFA hired to investigate the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, quit his post on Wednesday, citing FIFA’s “lack of leadership,” saying he cannot change the culture of soccer’s world governing body. Michel Platini, the President of UEFA, soccer’s European confederation, later described Garcia’s resignation as a “new failure” for the organization.
Garcia, an American lawyer, resigned from his post as chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee after he lost his appeal challenging the findings that cleared Russia and Qatar as hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively. "FIFA's ethics committee was created to increase transparency at the organization, that's what we wanted, but in the end it has just caused more confusion,” Platini said. “Mr. Garcia's resignation is a new failure for FIFA.
Garcia's investigation into the bidding saw him deliver a 430-page report to FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who in turn delivered a summary of the findings to the public, along with his judgment that the tournaments should remain in the hands of Russia and Qatar. Garcia then appealed Eckert’s summary to FIFA’s appeals committee, describing the German judge’s interpretation of his report as “erroneous” and “incomplete”, among other things.
In the meantime, FIFA’s executive committee is meeting Thursday and Friday in Marrakech to decide how much of Garcia’s 430-page report should be made public, but with the names of those implicated in it redacted.