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Updated: FIFA ethics chief resigns after 2022 Qatar report appeal rejected

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FIFA headquarters

Updated on Dec. 18 to reflect Garcia’s resignation

FIFA’s chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia has resigned from the world’s football governing body after an appeal he made with regards to a misrepresented World Cup corruption report was rejected.

Last month, ethics judge Hans Joachim Eckert issued a summary of Garcia’s report 430-page report corruption allegations around the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.

Eckert said there was no evidence of wrongdoing by winning hosts Qatar or Russia, and that FIFA would be closing its probe.

Hours later, Garcia lambasted the decision, describing Eckert’s summary as containing “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed in the Investigatory Chamber’s report.”

However, yesterday FIFA rejected the appeal, saying it was “not admissible” as Eckert’s summary was an opinion, not a decision.

In response, Garcia issued a statement yesterday saying:

“While the November 13, 2014, Eckert decision made me lose confidence in the independence of the Adjudicatory Chamber, it is the lack of leadership on these issues within FIFA that leads me to conclude that my role in this process is at an end.

Accordingly, effective today, December 17, 2014, I am resigning as independent Chairman of the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee.”

US attorney Michael Garcia and FIFA ethics judge Hans Joachim Eckert.

For his part, FIFA President Sepp Blatter expressed shock at the departure. A new interim chief is expected to be appointed in the coming weeks.

Garcia’s resignation comes just days before FIFA’s executive committee is due to meet in Marrakech to vote on whether to make changes to the organization’s ethics code to allow an edited version of Garcia’s full report to be released.

Amid calls for full disclosure, FIFA has said that its Ethics Code prevents the entire report from being made publicly available, which has raised many questions about the transparency of the organization.

Article 36 of the code states that all “facts of the case, contents of the investigations and deliberations and decisions” should remain confidential.

FIFA added there is no obligation for the details of the report to be publicly revealed: “Only the final decisions already notified to the addressees may be made public.”

Additionally, under article 78 of the code, there is no obligation for the ethics committee to reveal the grounds for any decision it has made, unless one of the parties requests it.

Whistleblowers

At the same time that FIFA rejected Garcia’s appeal, it also threw out complaints by two whistleblowers that Eckert’s summary had effectively “outed” them.

Phaedra Almajid, who worked for the Qatar 2022 bid team before losing her job in 2010, and Bonita Mersiades, who worked for Australia’s 2022 bid, said that Eckert’s summary released details that effectively identified them, although it did not name them directly.

Describing it as a “breach of confidentiality,” Almajid released a statement in which she said the disciplinary committee’s ruling was “a transparent avoidance of a clear violation of its own rules,” The Daily Mail reported.

She said she cooperated with Garcia’s investigation on a promise of mutual confidentiality – that she would not publicly reveal any information, and that in turn her identity would be protected. This was broken by Eckert’s summary, she said.

“I kept my promise. Eckert breached that confidentiality. I did not. The Disciplinary Committee’s avoidance of this undisputable violation is emblematic of its culture of self-protection,” Almajid added.

FIFA’s disciplinary committee said that there were no grounds for a case, as no names had been released and any information disclosed was of a “general nature.”

“The chairman reviewed all provided material and stressed that since the participants in the investigation had gone public with their own media activities long before the publication of the statement of the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber Judge Eckert, the breach of confidentiality claim had no substance,” FIFA said in a statement.

However, Almajid maintained that the public statements she had made had been before she had signed up to a confidentiality agreement with Garcia.

Thoughts?

27 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Fifa investigates itself, appoints independent investigator, finds investigators report proves FIFA’s innocence, independent investigator says that is not what he reported, fifa dismisses independent investigator appeal, Fifa finds Fifa innocent on all charges.

You couldn’t make it up.

#blatterout

Peter Pickle
Peter Pickle
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

yup, sounds like a watertight case in favor of Qatar… thanks FIFA !

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Peter Pickle

I don’t blame Qatar or Russia for this corrupt disaster. FIFA sets the rules of the game so they are to blame for corrupt bids, backhanders and inducements.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Slow clapping…

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I dunno, they certainly set the context, but those who are willing to stoop to FIFA’s level have made that choice. They also carry their fair share of blame.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

I don’t think any bids were clean. Japan admitted vote collusion and the English FA admitted inducements even though Fifa cleared them at the time. It seems obvious now under Fifa rules the biggest bung thrower wins. Time for the whole corrupt edifice to be removed and rebuilt or a new world governing body to take its place.

KingOfKings
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

This is called the Qatari attitude… shifting blame on FIFA, where the same logic can be applied to shift their blame onto the Swiss government wand then the whole world that allow their laws to exist. No man, those who break the rules and lie should be called for it. Qatar bribed and they are still saying they did not. Qatari people really need to start taking some accountability when they do things wrong. Instead of saying people are jealous and racist or the blame this on FIFA or blame slavery on labor companies who work in Qatar… They should take some accountability.. It will make them have more credibility and respect worldwide.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  KingOfKings

Not really in this case, it seems the majority of FAs did something we would consider unethical as that is the only way to win. If the rules of the game are fixed in advanced by Fifa that is mot Qatar’s fault and was happening long before they came on the scene.

KingOfKings
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

My man 🙂 I am not saying football federations are a bunch of mother Terresas .. but common, signing energy deals between 2 nations for a vote? lol… Threatening a woman with 2 disabled kids?… This is not to be compared to throwing a fancy public dinners man…

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Peter Pickle

All businesses do shady practices, The most shadiest are the ones you can’t report on.

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

They spent so much time , effort and money on making this report and now its strange that they don’t want to bring it out in the open and its no secret they want to hide it because there is something terribly wrong with FIFA and its leaders and the way FIFA has been running the beautiful game of Football around the world. Its like criminals and goons sitting in judgement of themselves in the courts and giving themselves a clean judgement
This raises serious issues and questions about the transparency of the organization as a whole.

Peter Pickle
Peter Pickle
6 years ago

Sepp Blatter reminds me of Robert Mugabe

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Peter Pickle

I think Mugabe would be insulted to be compared to such a corrupt man.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

thank goodness the world cup is staying in Qatar

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

I think that’d you’d better wait for the FBI investigation to finish before you make that assumption.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

I think I’ll just assume it’s done and dusted

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago

John Gotti, The Teflon Don, would be in envious awe of Blatter’s, and FIFA’s, ability too side-step accountability.

Expat
Expat
6 years ago

Why is the truth in anything nowadays so hard to find? Greed is ruining everything! Even sport!

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat

“Thanks” to this Bladder now FIFA, WC and football in general has a bad image. I just hope Qatar will host an exceptional WC, to wash the dirt and the shame from all this story.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  sicti

I have to say that in the light of everything that’s happened since the award of WC2022 there isn’t enough soap in the world to wash it clean. Only the total cleansing of FIFA will fall short of what’s needed.

KingOfKings
6 years ago
Reply to  sicti

Hmm I think you are missing a part of the story. Qatar cheated by bribing people who voted for the 2022. This is why the investigator resigned! He resigned because FIFA is refusing to publish the report that shows that Qatar bribed to win the bid. Nothing FIFA or Qatar will do can wash the dirt man. The best they can do is admit, apologize and for once in their life come clean.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Even George Orwell would have struggled to come up with this scenario.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Update – Garcia resigns in protest. Should be a good DN article tomorrow mentioning claims of corruption, abuse of workers, and imminent amendments to the Kafala.

Diego
Diego
6 years ago

I’m so confusted that I am utterly confused.I am sure Winston Churchill could come up with an appropriate comment about FIFA.

Global Citizen
Global Citizen
6 years ago

“The said statement about the report on the inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup™ Bidding Process does not constitute a decision (according to FIFA’s Ethics Code) and as such is neither legally binding nor appealable.”

If it doesn’t constitute a decision when and how will the decision on confirming 2018 & 2022 be made please?

KingOfKings
6 years ago

Hahaha, even the investigator himself was disgusted! (Qataris will now say he is jealous of them lol )
On the other hand, articles about Qatari paying migrant workers to pretend they are sport fans? lolol
Soon enough, the world will also know that Qatar has no real national teams and they issue Palestinians, Sudanese and Egyptians fake passports to represent Qatar too. Wow, this is insane.

Whoever is making these decisions, wake-up buddy lol… wake-up….

Edward
Edward
6 years ago

Garcia impresses me more and more all the time. No doubt Qatar and FIFA have been trying to dig up dirt on him, but apparently haven’t found any. Good for him for speaking out and standing on principle. FIFA would be ashamed of itself if it were capable of shame.

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