Steps in the FIFA corruption scandal leading to Garcia’s resignation as prosecutor

FIFA’s attempts to draw the line under corruption allegations experienced another blow on Wednesday with prosecutor Michael Garcia quitting in protest at the handling of the process. The Associated Press looks at the events that led to the resignation:

October 2010 _ First allegations of wrongdoing in World Cup bidding published in Britain by The Sunday Times, leading to Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii being barred from the executive committee ahead of the vote.

December 2010 _ FIFA’s executive committee vote awards the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

May 2011 _ Mohamed bin Hammam accused of trying to bribe voters in FIFA presidential election, withdraws from contest and is provisionally banned. Sepp Blatter is re-elected unopposed.

June 2011 _ FIFA vice-president Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago resigns to avoid investigation in the bin Hammam case. Warner had disclosed that FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke wrote to him saying Qatar “bought” hosting rights for the World Cup. Valcke said he referred only to Qatar’s financial muscle.

July 2012 _ Garcia appointed as FIFA prosecutor by executive committee with the priority of probing the controversial 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests. Joachim Eckert of Germany appointed chairman of judging chamber.

October 2013 – Garcia and his investigations team begin world tour of interviews with people involved in the World Cup bids involving nine bid candidates. Garcia not involved in investigating his native United States or Russia, which barred him from the country for previous work prosecuting a Russian arms dealer.

September 2014 – Garcia and his team submit 430-page investigation report to Eckert. Signs of conflict between Garcia and Eckert who attend a FIFA-hosted conference on ethics in sport. In keynote speech, Garcia says public confidence is built by naming who has been charged and why, with details of evidence. Eckert says he will not challenge FIFA secrecy rules, nor call Russia and Qatar into question as hosts.

November 2014 _ Eckert issues summary report based on Garcia’s investigation, clearing Russia and Qatar to continue as hosts despite acknowledging some wrongdoing in their bids. Garcia calls the report “incomplete and erroneous.”

December 2014 _ Garcia resigns from the FIFA ethics committee a day after the FIFA appeals panel rejected his challenge of Eckert’s decision. The FIFA panel ruled that Eckert only gave an opinion, not a decision, which is not legally binding and so cannot be appealed.

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