21 Nov 2014

FIFA lodges criminal complaint

12:48 pm on 21 November 2014

FIFA has lodged a criminal complaint over the "possible misconduct of individual persons" in connection with the awarding of hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar.

Late last week FIFA said there were no grounds to reopen the controversial bidding processes, following a long-awaited report compiled by chairman of the investigatory arm of FIFA's Ethics Committee Michael Garcia.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Fifa president Sepp Blatter Photo: PHOTOSPORT

But FIFA's president Sepp Blatter has now confirmed that, on the recommendation of FIFA's ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, it was "his duty" to lodge a complaint to the Swiss courts.

Former US attorney Garcia last week accused the governing body of misrepresenting his findings, plunging FIFA into a fresh crisis after continued misgivings about how Russia and Qatar were handed the next two World Cups.

FIFA judge Hans-Joachim Eckert says there is "insufficient incriminating evidence" to question the whole bidding process.

Last week Eckert released a 42-page report that cleared Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Although the report has been widely criticised, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has resisted calls to make it public.

Blatter says they have examined the matter very carefully from a legal point of view and the result's clear: If FIFA were to publish the report, they would be violating their own association law as well as state law.

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