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Corruption, lawyers, ethics, bribery and politics...oh, and football

Posted by: Laurence Simons 19/12/14
The FIFA world cup controversy continues! Michael Garcia, The US lawyer who was tasked with heading up FIFA’s ethics committee, resigned on Wednesday in what continues to be the controversy of the football world cup bidding process. Mr Garcia was employed by FIFA in 2012 to investigate the controversial bidding processes of the 2018 and 2022 world cups. After a two year investigation, a summary of his findings was published by FIFA and was immediately criticised by the author of the report for being erroneous. 

Now, Mr Garcia wants his report to be published in full whereas FIFA claim this will breach confidentiality rules. Mr Garcia revealed in his resignation statement that the FIFA executive committee, led by President Sepp Blatter, tried to commence disciplinary proceedings against him in September.  In what was a carefully worded resignation statement, Garcia said “No independent governance committee, investigator, or arbitration panel can change the culture of an organisation” – the truth or one final pop at the company who employed him?!

This ongoing saga isn’t close to being resolved and is making FIFA appear to be the secretive organisation they claim they’re not. Michel Platini, UEFA President, commented “FIFA's ethics committee was created to increase transparency at the organisation, that's what we wanted, but in the end it has just caused more confusion. Mr. Garcia's resignation is a new failure for FIFA."

In what must be a PR nightmare for FIFA this issue needs to be resolved and the focus should be on the very reason for their existence…football not corruption, lawyers, ethics, bribery and politics.