ZURICH: FIFA’s ethics judge Hans-Joachin Eckert is considering whether disciplinary charges should be pursued against individuals indicated by the inquiry into the 2018-2022 World Cup bid scandal writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The issue had dropped out of the headlines after the chaos prompted by the resignation last autumn of investigator Michael Garcia.

He had complained at the misrepresentation of his work by Eckert and by a lack of will to progress action by the world federation itself.

Garcia was succeeded in the investigatory role by his former deputy and inquiry assistant, Swiss lawyer Cornel Borbely.

Eckert and Borbery, according to a statement, have just ended two days of discussions about the next steps – which are up to the German judge.

Two disciplinary scenarios are open to Eckert. He can approve pursuit of individuals suspected of wrongdoing during the bidding and also individuals who sought to obstruct the investigation.

Several interim suspensions were imposed during Garcia’s inquiry.

It has always been a matter of conjecture as to why Garcia’s report made no reference was made to the failed 2018 World Cup bid by Spain and Portugal.

The bid was led by Angel Maria Villar, president of the Spanish federation and a vice-president of both FIFA and the European governing body UEFA.

A statement from the ethics committee said: “The investigatory chamber . . . has now submitted a first set of final reports and accompanying investigation files to the adjudicatory chamber for its consideration.

“Following a thorough assessment, the adjudicatory chamber will decide whether or not to open adjudicatory proceedings. Further final reports by the investigatory chamber are expected to be submitted to the adjudicatory chamber within the coming months.”

The statement insisted that nothing would be stated further to identify individuals under scrutiny.

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