ZURICH: FIFA today named American Michael Garcia to the crucially important role of head investigator of the new Ethics Committee – and he will not be tied by any statute of limitations in his work writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
This means he has total freedom to delve back into the ISL corruption scandal as well as the voting among the executive committee for Russia and Qatar as hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively.
He could, presumably, even look back into old World Cup ticketing controversies surrounding former vice-president Jack Warner who was thought to have been ‘rescued’ when the Ethics Committee was denied retrospective powers on its original creation in 2006.
The latest announcements came from FIFA president Sepp Blatter, seeking to put a positive spin on latest events swirling around the world football federation after the thunderous release last week of the ISL file which finally nailed Brazilian football bosses Joao Havelange and Ricardo Teixeira over bribes.
Blatter, after an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee, said it had voted unanimously in approval of the new Code of Ethics, the identities of the members of the two chambers (investigatory and adjudicatory) and the identities of the two chaimen.
Garcia was preferred to the Argentinan Luis Moreno Ocampo to head the investigative arm with German Hans-Joachim Eckert chairing the tribunal end of the process. Both men own significant independent status.
Blatter said: “The executive committee was in a very special situation because it had heen mandated by Congress to elaborate on these themes . . . in the framework of the reform process within FIFA which is going on according to the road map we established in October 2011.”
The ISL issue had been discussed by the exco, said Blatter, but no proposal had been taken concerning the role of disgraced Havelange as the honorary president of FIFA because “this is an issue only for Congress.”
However Blatter added: “We also decided to bring this [ISL] file to the attention of the new chairman of the investigatory chamber, Mr Garcia, and he will have not only to right but the duty to have this case analysed on ethic and moral matters and then report back to the executive committee.”
Blatter said there would be no time restriction and that this also applied if Garcia delved into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes.
He sidestepped questions over criticism from German football officials over what he may have known about the ISL scandal.
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