FIFA investigator Michael Garcia (Getty)

(WFI) FIFA’s corruption chief Michael Garcia recommends punishing “certain individuals” in his report on ethics violations in the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process.

World football’s governing body said on Friday that the head of its ethics investigation chamber and deputy chairman Cornel Borbély had today submitted their 350-page to FIFA’s ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.

Borbély delivered separate supplemental reports covering his review of activities of the U.S. and Russia bid teams.

Former US attorney Garcia did not investigate the activities of the USA bid for 2022 due to conflict of interest reasons. He was on a list of Americans banned from entering Russia over alleged human-rights violations, blacklisted for his former role as a prosecutor in sentencing Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

“Over the course of this year-long investigation, the investigatory chamber 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 in its statement.

But Mohamed Bin Hammam, the former FIFA presidential candidate and ex-Asian Football Confederation chief, and former CONCACAF president and secretary general, Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer, quit FIFA after being engulfed in corruption scandals. They were not interviewed by Garcia.

“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,” FIFA’s statement added.

FIFA recently confirmed to INSIDER that Garcia’s report would not be made public.

“The adjudicatory chamber will now make a
final decision on the report and supplemental reports, including
publication,” the statement concluded.

Eckert is expected to spend at last a week or two studying Garcia’s recommendations before casting his verdict.

The German may be guided by FIFA president Sepp Blatter to announce sanctions before or during the inaugural World Summit on Ethics, which takes place at the federation’s headquarters in Zurich on Sept. 19.

The 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contest was mired in corruption scandals, the biggest in FIFA’s history. They sparked a reform process that concluded earlier this year.

Two FIFA Exco members were suspended ahead of the December 2010 vote, leaving 22 officials to award hosting rights to Russia and Qatar. The decision sparked an immediate backlash from some of the other bids. They criticised the bidding process and pointed to a FIFA evaluation report that highlighted the risks involved in handing the World Cups to Russia and Qatar over the other seven bids.

The awarding of the World Cup to Qatar has come under particular scrutiny over the past four years following a wave of cash-for-votes allegations and corruption claims published by the Sunday Times newspaper. Qatar 2022 denies all the allegations.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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