(This July 21 story has been corrected to clarify that the FIFA investigation into the World Cup bidding process relates to both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments)
ZURICH (Reuters) - An investigation into the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and the 2018 tournament to Russia, initially scheduled for completion this month, is only likely to be finished in September, FIFA said.
“We expect to deliver our report to the adjudicatory chamber by the first week of September 2014,” said a statement issued by FIFA this week on behalf of its ethics committee.
Former United States attorney Michael Garcia has been leading an internal probe by FIFA’s ethics committee into allegations of corruption in the run-up to the vote in December 2010, which awarded the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
Garcia, who began his investigation 18 months ago, had said in June that he expected to deliver his report by around the end of this month.
When complete, Garcia’s report will be handed to German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of the ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber, and if he finds corruption, Qatar could face a challenge to its position as host either through a re-vote or other processes.
Shortly before the World Cup in Brazil, Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper reported that some of the “millions of documents” it had seen linked payments by former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam to officials to win backing for Qatar’s World Cup bid.
Qatar has denied all allegations of corruption.
Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Stephen Wood