ZURICH: The next step in FIFA’s own investigation into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has been delayed until the first week of September writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Confirmation of progress comes just as the British parliament’s Commons Select Committee on culture, media and sport convenes to gain greater insight of its own into the controversy.
Michael Garcia, the world federation’s independent prosecutor, has been following up for most of the last two years on events in the scandal-wracked host selection procedure.
The World Cup awards, on December 2, 2010, did nothing to ease the controversy which grown with more and more revelations about complex the financial relationships among senior members of the voting excecutive committee, notably Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner, then the respective presidents of the Asian and centra/north American confederations.
A statement from Garcia’s FIFA office said simply: “In response to inquiries regarding the investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups™, the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee has released the following statement: ‘We expect to deliver our report to the adjudicatory chamber by the first week of September 2014.'”
Originally Garcia had said his report would be ready in mid-July. Inevitably there will be speculation that the delay was necessitated by the publication of allied allegations earlier this year in The Sunday Times.
Given the sensitivity and complexity of the issues Eckert may need up to at least a month to come to decisions and put them, formally, in writing.
Hence it could be early October before his verdict is announced and published.
As for the UK Parliamentary hearings, the committee had examined allegations of corruption in 2012 and called for a full, transparent investigation.
Those expected to give evidence include Football Association chairman Greg Dyke as well as Sunday Times investigative journalists Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert.
Qatar has always denied any wrongdoing.