FIFA has lodged a criminal complaint in Switzerland against certain individuals named in the recent confidential investigation into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The decision comes just days after FIFA ethics Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert issued his 42-page summary of Michael Garcia’s full 18-month investigation.
Despite the complaint, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said it will not impact the hosting of the two tournaments, which were both embroiled in allegations of corruption and bribery.
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, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee.
"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.”
Former English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said on Monday “urgent action” was required by FIFA to ensure the report is published in full.
Eckert said, however, it would be unfair to those investigated and interviewed to release the report to the public, with Blatter saying it would go against FIFA and Swiss state law.
But FIFA did say that the full report would be handed over to the Swiss Attorney General’s office so it could conclude if there was a criminal case.
Blatter told FIFA's website: "There is no change to Judge Eckert's statement that the investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups is concluded. "The matter will now also be looked at by an independent, state body, which shows that FIFA is not opposed to transparency."
However, the identities of those investigated by FIFA are not to be named.
Although Eckerts summary report did finger two former ethics committee members: Trinidadian Jack Warner, who resigned in 2011, and Qatari national Mohammed bin Hammam, the former Asian confederation president who was banned from football for life by FIFA.
It’s unclear if Bin Hamman and Warner are the two who were reported to Swiss authorities.
Garcia, the main architect of the report, criticized Eckert’s findings, along with England’s 2018 Chief Operating Officer Simon Johnson and British Member of Parliament Damien Collins, calling it a “whitewash.”
"I would like to point out that not once did my statement involve a so-called 'whitewashing' of the award process with regard to the various allegations and assumptions made, contrary to what has been claimed in some quarters," Eckert said in a FIFA press release. "My statement was based on the Garcia report -- I can only work with the material contained in it, and in my view, there was insufficient clear evidence of illegal or irregular conduct that would call into question the integrity of the award process as a whole.
"Nevertheless, there are indications of potential illegal or irregular conduct in certain areas, which must now be followed up both internally by FIFA and by the relevant national criminal prosecution authorities."