PtG Article 18.12.2014

Garcia leaves FIFA in protest

Michael Garcia, the investigator behind the report into the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process has resigned in protest over FIFA’s handling of his report.

Head of the investigatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee, Michael Garcia, has resigned from his post after FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee dismissed his appeal against the summary of the 430-page report that Hans Joachim Eckert, head of the Ethics Committee’s adjudicatory chamber, issued on 13 November 2014.

In the appeal, Garcia calls Eckert’s summary of his report on the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process "incomplete and erroneous".

The resignation from Garcia comes in a statement issued after the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in its decision said that since the Eckert statement “does not constitute a decision”, it is “neither legally binding nor appealable”.

In the written resignation, the American lawyer calls the leadership of the international football body into doubt.

“No independent governance committee, investigator, or arbitration panel can change the culture of an organization. And 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,” Garcia writes in his statement.

FIFA has “taken note” of Garcia’s resignation and, pending the election of a new chairman of the Ethics Committee an acting chairman will be appointed to replace Garcia, says a FIFA press release.

“I am surprised by Mr Garcia’s decision,” says FIFA president Sepp Blatter in the press release.

“The work of the Ethics Committee will nonetheless continue and will be a central part of the discussions at the ExCo meeting in the next two days.”

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