By Paul Osborne 

Michael Garcia's appeal against the summary of his FIFA World Cup bid investigation has been dismissed ©Getty ImagesMichael Garcia's appeal against the summary of his two-year investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids has been thrown out by the FIFA Appeals Committee.

United States attorney Garcia, who spent two years investigating corruption allegations in the two World Cup bids, criticised Ethics Committee chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert's 42-page summary of his findings as containing "numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations".

Eckert's statement effectively confirmed Qatar and Russia as hosts of the 2022 and 2018 World Cup tournaments, stating any rule breaches by the bidding countries were "of very limited scope".

It added: "In particular, the effects of these occurrences on the bidding process as a whole were far from reaching any threshold that would require returning to the bidding process, let alone reopening it."

Despite his criticism, the Appeal Committee, chaired by Larry Mussenden, has today said the summary published by Eckert "does not constitute a decision and as such is neither legally binding nor appealable".

FIFA also dismissed complaints by the two whistleblowers who claimed that their identity had been revealed in Eckert's summary.

Phaedra Al Majid and Bonita Mersiades, who worked for the Qatari and Australian bid teams respectively, spoke to FIFA about alleged corruption on condition of anonymity.

Complaints that Hans-Joachim Eckert's 42-page summary had identified two whistleblowers were also dismissed by FIFA ©Getty ImagesComplaints that Hans-Joachim Eckert's 42-page summary had identified two whistleblowers were also dismissed by FIFA ©Getty Images

Writing to Garcia, Al Majid had deemed Eckert's summary as not only "a crude, cynical and fundamentally erroneous description of me and the information and materials I provided your investigation, it directly breached FIFA's assurances of my confidentiality".

She added: "Although Herr Eckert did not name me in his report, he directly identified me and my information by connecting it to my publicly reported statements three years ago.

"Within hours of publication of Herr Eckert's summary, I had already been widely identified as one of the 'whistleblowers' in German and British media."

FIFA today declared, however, "there were no grounds to justify the opening of disciplinary proceedings".

A statement by FIFA's Disciplinary Committee chairman Claudio Sulser added: "Since the participants in the investigation had gone public with their own media activities long before the publication of the statement of the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber, Judge Eckert, the breach of confidentiality claim had no substance.

"What is more, no names were mentioned in the statement and any information provided was of a general nature.

"Thus, there was no divulgence of any information of a confidential nature."

It is also claimed that Garcia, in a letter to Sulser, "concluded that the complaints by the participants in the investigation were without merit and that, as far as he was concerned, there had been no infringements by Eckert".

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