Fifa receives Garcia appeal over World Cup report

The former United States attorney led an investigation into the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups but was critical of how his findings were represented

Fifa has received Michael Garcia’s intention to appeal following his investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes.

Former United States attorney Garcia led the enquiry by Fifa’s Ethics Committee into the bidding process for the next two World Cups, to be held in Russia and Qatar respectively.

The findings were published on Thursday, but Garcia was critical of what he felt were “erroneous representations of the facts” within the report.

The decision to award Qatar the 2022 showpiece has been marred by allegations of corruption as well as criticism surrounding the staging of a tournament in the country’s extreme weather conditions.

The 42-page document – published by Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of Fifa’s independent Ethics Committee – cleared the Gulf state of any wrongdoing.

However, Fifa’s overall findings on Garcia’s inquiry claimed “the various incidents which might have occurred are not suited to compromise the integrity of the Fifa World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole”.

Garcia later released a statement in which he confirmed his intention to appeal – something Fifa has now received.

“Regarding media reports about a potential appeal by Michael J. Garcia, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Fifa Ethics Committee, Fifa can confirm receipt of his intention to appeal to the Fifa Appeal Committee,” read a Fifa statement.

“Taking into consideration that the deadline to submit reasons for the appeal is on-going, FIFA is not in a position to comment further for the time-being.”

Garcia’s appeal led many to call for his report to be published in full, but Eckert insists that is not a viable option.

“I don’t think that’s possible because I have to respect the rights of confidentiality for continental law,” he told BBC Sport.

“Maybe it’s another thing in the US, but in continental law I can’t do it, and I can’t do it in total even by the FIFA code of ethics. I will not do it.”