FIFA investigator Michael Garcia to appeal against 'incomplete' report
FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia has attacked the report on his investigation into the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups published on Thursday and said he will appeal against it.
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Garcia issued a short statement reported by the BBC in which he said the 42-page report, written by Joachim Eckert, the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA's independent ethics committee, "contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed in the investigatory chamber's report."
"I intend to appeal this decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee," the former U.S. Attorney said.
FIFA issued a statement in response, in which it said only: "We take note of reports mentioning a statement issued by Michael Garcia, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA ethics committee.
"For the time being, FIFA has not been officially notified of this statement and is therefore not in a position to further comment on this matter at this stage. We will follow up in due time.''
World football's governing body had previously said the Garcia report could not be published in full for legal reasons.
His intervention means he has effectively dismissed the conclusions that FIFA has drawn from his two-year investigative process.
Britain's FIFA vice president, Jim Boyce, said it increased the case for as much of his report "as is legally possible" to be made public.
Boyce told Press Association Sport: "In view of the fact Michael Garcia has now stated he is not happy with the findings and is to appeal, I await with interest to see what further disclosures will be made."
Jerome Champagne, the first officially declared candidate to take on Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency next year, said he believed the day's developments showed "more reforms are still needed."
My reaction after the release of the statement of the chairman of the adjucatory chamber of the Fifa Ethics Committee pic.twitter.com/ulGTPanthH- Jérôme Champagne (@JChampagne2015) November 13, 2014
On his Twitter feed, Champagne issued a statement which read: "I have said, constantly and consistently, that the FIFA World Cup should be protected for what it represents for the game... and that, as a consequence, we needed and still need to know what happened before and after the December 2010 vote.
"The potential future proceedings against officials mentioned in the investigation will constitute an important step for the full closure of the case.
"As far as Mr Eckert's recommendations are concerned, this case and the findings mentioned in this statement are just an additional call to make FIFA stronger, more democratic, more transparent and better able to protect itself and football from external influences of a political or economic nature."
Eckert's report cleared Russia and Qatar of corruption in their winning bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The document said no proof was found of bribes or voting pacts in an investigation that was hampered by a lack of access to evidence and uncooperative witnesses.
The Football Association hit back at the report, which heavily criticised England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup, saying it does "not accept any criticism regarding the integrity of England's bid or any of the individuals involved."
And FA chairman Greg Dyke reiterated his call for the Garcia report to be published in full, telling Sky Sports News: "I'm surprised by Michael Garcia's comments. It makes a mockery of the whole process if the report doesn't reflect what he believed.
"We've always wanted the full Garcia report published, but you may have to take out some names who spoke in the belief of confidentiality.
" It's a bit of a joke now, though. If the person doing the investigation is saying: 'Actually, what they're saying isn't what I said,' what's the point of it?"
The report turned much of its fire on England's conduct, saying it had "damaged the integrity of the ongoing bidding process."
It said the England 2018 bid team's attempts to secure the FIFA executive votes apparently controlled by disgraced former vice president Jack Warner included securing a job for a family friend in Britain and "violated bidding rules."
And it hit out at Lord Triesman, the England bid chairman, saying he did not cooperate with the Garcia investigation but had used his parliamentary privilege to make a number of allegations of corruption in the bidding process.
But in a statement issued from its Wembley headquarters, the FA said England had conducted "a transparent bid" to stage the 2018 tournament.
The statement said: "We were not given any prior notice of the report before publication. We do not accept any criticism regarding the integrity of England's bid or any of the individuals involved."
Former England 2018 chief operating officer Simon Johnson dismissed the conclusions as a "politically-motivated whitewash."
He told Press Association Sport: "I am not sure how we can have confidence in the outcome of this report.
"The headlines today end up being about the England bid when it should be about how it has exonerated Qatar.
"In relation to England's bid, I was satisfied at all times that we complied with the rules of the ethics code. We also gave full and transparent disclosure to the investigation, which many others did not do."