FIFA on Tuesday named American attorney Michael Garcia and German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert as the two figures to tackle corruption in world football’s governing body.
Garcia, who has previously specialised in enforcing arms regulations and money laundering statutes, was elected to probe allegations of corruption as head of the investigative chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee. Eckert is the presiding judge of Munich’s penal court and will bear responsibility for judging cases and handing out sanctions as head of the adjudicatory branch. FIFA’s Executive Committee meeting saw Garcia handed the immediate task of re-opening the details of the infamous case surrounding FIFA’s former marketing partner ISL.
“He (Garcia) will have not only the right but the duty to have this case analysed on ethical and moral grounds and then to report back to the executive committee,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter, according to Reuters. “The chairmen of both chambers are totally independent; this had been requested by FIFA’s Congress.” Garcia’s appointment comes one week after former FIFA president Joao Havelange and ex-Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ricardo Teixeira were officially named as the figures at the centre of the ISL bribery scandal.
FIFA finally published a Swiss court dossier detailing that Teixeira received at least 12.74 million Swiss francs (now Eur10.61 million) in payments from ISL in the period spanning 1992-97. ISL collapsed in 2001, an episode that sparked a criminal investigation and exposed the practice of it buying influence from leading sports officials in return for handing the company lucrative World Cup broadcast and sponsorship rights during the 1990s. The document stated that Havelange received a payment of 1.5 million Swiss francs (now around Eur1.25 million) in 1997. The dossier added that payments “attributed” to the two influential Brazilian sports officials came to almost 22 million Swiss francs (Eur18.32 million) between 1992 and 2000. The Swiss prosecutors report detailed that the duo were investigated for “embezzlement, or alternatively disloyal management”.
Blatter added that Garcia will also be able to investigate other allegations of wrongdoing in the past with no statute of limitations, opening up the possibility of further analysis into the controversy surrounding the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Meanwhile, Blatter shrugged off questions from German reporters over whether he should resign from his position. The FIFA president has found himself under-fire in Germany after the ISL revelations were followed by a newspaper interview in which he seemed to suggest that the rights to host the 2006 World Cup in the country might have been “bought”.
“You have to live with that,” said Blatter. “The way the media sees me or judges me, that’s their business. I’m elected by the 209 member confederations of FIFA and if they no longer want me, then I will of course say thank you and I will ask no questions. But it has to be done by Congress.”
See original article:
FIFA names Ethics Committee chairmen