FIFA ethics judge Eckert surprised at criticism

Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:20am EST
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By Joern Poltz

MUNICH (Reuters) - FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert told Reuters he was surprised at public criticism from his investigative counterpart Michael Garcia over the report which concluded that the bidding process for the 2018/2022 World Cups did not have to be re-run.

Eckert issued a 42-page statement on Thursday on the controversial process which ended with the tournaments being awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively, based on findings from report compiled by Garcia following an 18-month investigation.

Three hours later Garcia issued his own statement saying the FIFA report contained "numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts", adding that he was going to appeal against its verdicts.

"Usually you would first speak to each other internally if you don't like something," Eckert told Reuters on Friday, adding that he had not been able to get in touch with Garcia.

"I have been trying to contact him," he said.

Eckert confirmed that Garcia had not received a copy of the statement before it was made public.

"It could be a misunderstanding after all," he said.

(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Ed Osmond)

Michael J. Garcia, Chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee (L) and Hans-Joachim Eckert, Chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee shake hands as they pose for photographers after a news conference at the at the Home of FIFA in Zurich July 27, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer