Although FIFA Ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert’s findings named both former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner and former Asian confederation president Mohammed Bin Hammam as having contravened rules regarding payments, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has stated that the investigation into 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding is closed.
In his findings released last week, Eckert, tasked with reporting on the investigation into those bidding processes conducted by chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, Michael Garcia, named Warner and Bin Hammam as having contravened rules regarding payments, according to newpaper reports out of the UK.
Warner, a former UNC chairman and minster in various portfolios in the Trinidad and Tobago Government, resigned from FIFA in 2011, while Qatar’s Bin Hammam was banned for life by FIFA. Both are former FIFA ethics committee members.
But FIFA has lodged a criminal complaint with the Swiss attorney general over “suspected unlawful activity” of unnamed individuals connected with the bidding contests despite Blatter’s statement that the investigation is concluded.
The report, handed over to the Swiss prosecutors by Eckert as part of his findings into the Garcia investigation, will not be published, Blatter had said, citing the publication would breach FIFA and state laws.
“The matter will now also be looked at by an independent, state body, which shows that FIFA is not opposed to transparency,” Blatter was reported to have said.
A FIFA statement said: “The subject of the criminal complaint is the possible misconduct of individual persons in connection with the awarding of the hosting rights of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups investigated by Michael Garcia.
“In particular there seem to be grounds for suspicion that, in isolated cases, international transfers of assets with connections to Switzerland took place, which merit examination by the criminal prosecution authorities.”
The identities of the individuals who have been reported to the attorney general have not been disclosed, according to the UK media report.