ZURICH: The uncertainty of what may emerge from FIFA’s ethics report on the ISL scandal is looming over preparations for the world federation’s congress in Mauritius at the end of May writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
More than 16 months ago FIFA and the Swiss courts finally conceded that hitherto confidential files should be open in the public interest.
Since then the file has been awaiting assessment which was ultimately undertaken by independent ethics investigator/prosecutor Michael Garcia following his appointment last year.
Garcia issued a statement in February that he would present his report to the March meeting of the executive committee.
Since this suggested he was not passing the file on to ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, it appeared Garcia was not recommending any action against any of those known to have been received illicit payments (Joao Havelange, Ricardo Teixeira, Issa Hayatou, Nicolas Leoz and maybe more).
However, when the issue was raised during the exco it was merely as a matter of note that Garcia, after all, had passed the 4,000-page report on to Eckert.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, at a post-exco press conference, suggested April 15 as a possible latest date for a further announcement.
However April 15 came and went with Eckert needing “a few more days,” according to FIFA.
A further inquiry from this writer elicited the same response so the wait continues with congress now just 37 days away.
One consequence of Eckert’s conclusions may be a request for congress on May 30 and 31 to revoke the honorary presidency conferred upon Havelange when the veteran Brazilian administrator retired after 24 years at the head of the world football federation in 1998.
# # # #