FIFA named leading crime
fighters from the United States and Germany on Tuesday to tackle
corruption in football's world governing body and gave them free
rein to re-examine the ISL bribery case.
U.S. attorney Michael Garcia, whose past responsibilities
have included 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.
German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, presiding judge of the
Munich penal court, will be responsible for judging cases and
handing out sanctions as head of the investigative branch.
Garcia was immediately asked to re-examine the details of
the case involving ISL, FIFA's former marketing company, by FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
"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," Blatter told reporters.
"The chairmen of both chambers are totally independent, this
had been requested by FIFA's Congress."
Blatter said that Garcia would also be able to investigate
other allegations of wrongdoing in the past with no statute of
This could involve the controversy which surrounded the
awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar
Garcia was elected by FIFA's executive committee ahead of
leading international prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the other
candidate for the post, by FIFA's executive committee.
His appointment came one week after the long-awaited release
of court documents from the ISL case
A Swiss prosecutor said in a legal document released last
week that former FIFA President Joao Havelange and former
executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira took multi-million
bribes on World Cup deals in the 1990s.
The bribes were paid by ISL, which collapsed in 2001.
Blatter was general secretary under Havelange and attention has
centered on whether he knew about the payments.
Havelange is FIFA's honorary president while Teixeira quit
as head of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) this year.
During the media conference, Blatter shrugged off questions
from German reporters over suggestions that he should resign
following release of the court documents.
Blatter also caused huge offence in Germany by implying in a
newspaper interview 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 businesses."
"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."
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