Former FIFA Advisors Criticize Organization For Lack Of Transparency Over World Cup Bids
FIFA's former advisors have criticized the governing body for "a lack of transparency over investigations into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups," according to Martyn Ziegler of the PA. Anti-corruption campaign group Transparency Int'l has "also questioned why so few details have emerged" about the reasons for the lifetime ban imposed on former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke has defended the organization, "insisting it is down to the independent ethics committee -- which has said it is looking into the World Cup bidding -- to publicise any investigations." Transparency Int'l's senior advisor on sport Sylvia Schenk, who had worked with FIFA until cutting ties in '11, said that FIFA's credibility "was at stake." Schenk said, "We are back to square one -- we asked one and a half years ago for an independent investigation into all the allegations about the World Cup bidding, and we still do not know what is going on." FIFA last year appointed U.S. attorney Michael J. Garcia as head of the investigations arm of the ethics committee, and German Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert chairman of the adjudicatory arm. Schenk claimed that Garcia "could not be viewed as totally independent" as he is paid by FIFA. Schenk added, "We wanted an independent committee looking into the whole World Cup process -- Garcia is paid by FIFA so is he all that independent?" (PA, 3/7).