Russia and Qatar emerged as big winners Tuesday after U.S. prosecutor Michael Garcia lost his appeal against FIFA, soccer’s governing body. Garcia — a former U.S. attorney — had objected to ethics judge Joachim Eckert’s summary of Garcia’s World Cup bid investigation into the 2018 and 2022 hosting votes, claiming the summary contained “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations” of his report.

FIFA, however, said its appeals panel ruled the case to be “not admissible.” Garcia was unable to challenge elements of Eckert’s summary, the panel ruled, because they were only Eckert’s opinions.

Garcia had filed his appeal last month, hours after FIFA published Eckert’s report and welcomed “a degree of closure.” However, Eckert’s report did “not constitute a decision … and as such is neither legally binding nor appealable,” FIFA said in a statement issued Tuesday. FIFA also provided further legal opinion in a background paper on its website.

“In doing so, the chairman (Eckert) had merely commented on the report of (Garcia’s) investigatory chamber on a voluntary basis,” FIFA said.

The ruling was published less than an hour after FIFA announced a disciplinary committee judgment dismissing complaints by two whistleblowers who were interviewed during the probe. It was unclear if Garcia can take his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport… see more

source: america aljazeera