Football: Fifa ethics judge Eckert surprised at criticism

A file picture taken on July 27, 2012, shows Michael J Garcia (left), Chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, and Hans-Joachim Eckert (right), Chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the Fifa Ethics Committee taking part i
A file picture taken on July 27, 2012, shows Michael J Garcia (left), Chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, and Hans-Joachim Eckert (right), Chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the Fifa Ethics Committee taking part in a press conference at Fifa headquarters in Zurich.  -- PHOTO: AFP

MUNICH (REUTERS) - Fifa ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert told Reuters he was surprised at public criticism from his investigative counterpart Michael Garcia, over the report which concluded that the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups did not have to be re-run.

The German issued a 42-page statement on Thursday on the controversial process which ended with the tournaments being awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively, based on findings from report compiled by the American following an 18-month investigation.

Three hours later, Garcia issued his own statement saying the Fifa report contained "numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts", adding that he was going to appeal against its verdicts.

"Usually you would first speak to each other internally if you don't like something," Eckert told Reuters on Friday, adding that he had not been able to get in touch with Garcia. "I have been trying to contact him," he said.

Eckert confirmed that Garcia had not received a copy of the statement before it was made public. "It could be a misunderstanding after all," he said.