FIFA rejects Garcia′s appeal on corruption report | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 16.12.2014
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FIFA rejects Garcia's appeal on corruption report

World football's governing body has rejected an appeal by US prosecutor Michael Garcia. He had complained about the handling of his inquiry into alleged corruption in the Russian and Qatar World Cup bids.

The FIFA Appeal Committee ruled on Tuesday that an appeal by Michael Garcia about the way his ethics report was handled by the organization was "not admissible."

Garcia, who spent 18 months investigating the World Cup votes won by Russia and Qatar, had complained that a summary of his report released by FIFA's top judge Joachim Eckert was "incomplete and erroneous."

FIFA has insisted that the full report cannot be released and says Eckert's summary "does not constitute a decision ... and as such is neither legally binding nor appealable." It is unclear if Garcia can now take his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Separately, a proposed rule change by FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger to make publication of the whole report possible will be voted on at the next executive committee meeting on December 18.

In December 2010 Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup back as Qatar won the vote for the 2022 tournament. Since then, various European football bosses have mooted a boycott of the Qatar tournament for reasons including the oppressive summer heat in the desert state.

Whistleblower complaints also dismissed

Meanwhile, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has dismissed complaints by two whistleblowers who were interviewed during the 2018-2022 World Cup bid investigation. FIFA says panel chairman Claudio Sulser ruled that the whistleblowers' breach of confidentiality claim "had no substance."

The FIFA statement did not specifically identify Phaedra Almajid, a former Qatar bid staffer, and Bonita Mersiades, who worked for the Australia campaign. However, both worked in communications for their countries' 2022 bids and left before the December 2010 vote.

Sulser ruled that both women "had gone public with their own media activities long before" FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert's investigation summary was published last month. Eckert's report also did not name them, the disciplinary committee found.

al/ksb/pwh (AP, AFP, DPA)