FIFA completes probe into 2018, 2022 World Cup hosting
By Brian Homewood
BERNE (Reuters) - FIFA ethics committee investigator Michael Garcia has completed his probe into the controversial bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively, and handed in a 350-page report.
The report, which has not been made public, will be submitted to the ethics committee's adjudicatory chamber, headed by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, to decide on whether any wrongdoing was committed, soccer's governing body said on Friday.
FIFA said they could not comment on when Eckert might reach his decision.
During the course of the year-long investigation, Garcia and his deputy Cornel Borbely interviewed "more than 75 witnesses and compiled a record that, in addition to audio recordings from interviews, includes more than 200,000 pages of relevant material," FIFA said.
"The report sets forth detailed factual findings; reaches conclusions concerning further action with respect to certain individuals; identifies issues to be referred to other FIFA committees; and makes recommendations for future bidding processes."
The hosting rights for the two tournaments were awarded simultaneously by FIFA's executive committee in Zurich in 2010 after a turbulent campaign.
Spain/Portugal, Belgium/Netherlands and England had also been bidding for 2018 while United States, Australia, South Korea and Japan had bid for 2022.
The executive committee which took the decision was reduced to 22 members instead of the usual 24 after two of them were suspended by the ethics committee one month before the vote. Continued...