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FIFA World Cup

FIFA to review World Cup corruption report

FIFA to review Garcia's World Cup corruption report, putting Russia, Qatar back in question
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - FIFA will further review the 2018 and 2022 World Cup corruption investigation, putting the status of hosts Russia and Qatar back in question.

The head of FIFA's auditing committee will examine the full 430-page confidential report by American prosecutor Michael Garcia into impropriety during the bid process, reviving a probe which seemed closed one week ago.

Domenico Scala, a Swiss businessman who serves as the soccer body's audit panel chairman, will then decide whether to turn over any evidence to FIFA's executive committee.

Eckert, Garcia to meet amid FIFA probe crisis

Eckert and Garcia set to meet amid crisis for FIFA World Cup bid corruption case
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - The judge and prosecutor behind FIFA's World Cup bid corruption investigation will meet Thursday in an effort to repair their relations and restore the reputation of a case seemingly in disarray.

The whereabouts of the meeting between FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert and prosecutor Michael Garcia is a secret — as are, against the American lawyer's wishes, his investigation findings.

FIFA files criminal complaint over World Cup bids

FIFA files criminal complaint in Switzerland against unnamed individuals in World Cup bidding
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - The latest twist in FIFA's World Cup bid corruption case has landed on the desk of Switzerland's attorney general.

FIFA filed a "criminal complaint" against unnamed individuals on Tuesday, calling on Swiss federal prosecutors to investigate money transfers connected to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests that were won by Russia and Qatar.

The unexpected move comes five days after FIFA had welcomed a "degree of closure" on the case.

Low-key Ronaldo-Messi duel as Portugal wins 1-0

Low-key Ronaldo-Messi duel as Portugal beats Argentina 1-0; Germany strikes late to beat Spain
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi had left the pitch long before Raphael Guerreiro's stoppage-time header gave Portugal a 1-0 win over Argentina in a friendly on Tuesday.

The world's two best players were substituted at halftime at Old Trafford, with Ronaldo rarely shining in a stadium he graced for six seasons with Manchester United.

FIFA files criminal complaint over World Cup bids

FIFA files criminal complaint in Switzerland against unnamed individuals in World Cup bidding
The Associated Press

ZURICH - FIFA filed a criminal complaint against unnamed individuals on Tuesday over the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests won by Russia and Qatar.

FIFA said president Sepp Blatter asked Switzerland's attorney general to investigate the behaviour of the unnamed people involved in the bid campaigns.

In an apparent move to avert criticism of FIFA, Blatter acted on a request by FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert, whose summary last week of an investigation by American prosecutor Michael Garcia was widely denounced as a "whitewash" of Russia, Qatar and FIFA officials.

Only tough options now for FIFA prosecutor Garcia

FIFA critics say Garcia should resign or leak the entire investigation into World Cup bids
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - Michael Garcia faces a difficult decision after FIFA, soccer's notoriously unaccountable world governing body, released a summary of his investigation into World Cup bidding that the former U.S. federal prosecutor calls "incomplete and erroneous."

Garcia was brought on because of his clean reputation as a serious investigator. But now, he's tied to a case that is being called a whitewash all over the world.

Qatari whistleblower protests FIFA judge's report

Qatari whistleblower files protest over FIFA judge Eckert's report into World Cup corruption
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - A Qatari whistleblower has formally complained about FIFA judge Joachim Eckert's treatment of her in his World Cup bid corruption report.

Phaedra Almajid told The Associated Press on Monday that she wrote to FIFA prosecutor Michael Garcia about Eckert breaching her right to witness confidentiality. It was sent late Sunday to the email address at the Manhattan law firm where Garcia is a partner.

Eckert seeks out Garcia for World Cup probe talks

FIFA judge Eckert seeks talks with prosecutor Garcia over rift in FIFA World Cup bid probe
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - The public rift between the two leaders of FIFA's investigation into World Cup bidding corruption is heading for personal talks.

FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert said Friday he is reaching out to American investigator Michael Garcia, who rejected his report on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid contests as "incomplete and erroneous."

FIFA under fire after report on Qatar, Russia

FIFA inquiry denounced after clearing Qatar and Russia World Cup bids
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - A long-awaited day of judgment on World Cup hosts Russia and Qatar turned into another day of FIFA disarray.

Nearly four years after FIFA chose Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, the football body's ethics judge exonerated the two countries of any corruption in their winning bids and cleared them to stage the sport's showpiece tournament.

The ruling by German judge Joachim Eckert came despite evidence of some improper conduct by eight of the nine bids.

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