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FIFA ethics prosecutor resigns

Garcia (left) with fellow FIFA ethics committee member Eckert before the disagreements Keystone

The former US attorney Michael Garcia resigned from the FIFA ethics committee on Wednesday in protest over the handling of the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 football World Cup bids.

He quit a day after the FIFA appeals panel rejected his challenge against ethics committee colleague, Joachim Eckert’s summary of the confidential 430-page investigation dossier into the World Cup bids that were ultimately won by Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022).

In a resignation statement Garcia said he had lost confidence in the independence of the ethics committee and cited a “lack of leadership” at the top of FIFA. He also questioned how FIFA could truly change after years of scandals and criticism.

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

Garcia had objected to Eckert’s summary of the World Cup bid investigation, claiming “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations” of his work.

The world football’s governing body on Tuesday said Garcia’s case was ruled “not admissible” by the appeals panel.

In its report into investigations of corruption in awarding the World Cup to Russia and Qatar, the FIFA ethics committee led by Eckert said “the various incidents which might have occurred are not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole.”

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR