FIFA judge surprised by public outrage

FIFA judge surprised by public outrage

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 2018-2022 World Cups did not have to be re-run.

Eckert 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 Garcia 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.

Aussies cry foul

Australia's soccer chief has denied any wrongdoing during the country's failed campaign to host the 2022 World Cup, while an Australian politician has called FIFA's investigation a "sick farce" and demanded its money back.

Federation Football Australia (FFA) chief Frank Lowy released a statement on Friday, rejecting a FIFA report that criticised Australia's campaign tactics.

"I made it clear to all involved in our bid that we would run a clean campaign and I stressed this objective at every opportunity," Lowy said. 

The Australian government invested A$43 million ($37.43 million) on a bid that received just one solitary vote.

Australian senator Nick Xenophon said on Friday that the investigation was a "whitewash" and a "sick farce".

He called on FIFA to refund the money Australia had spent on the bid, saying they had been "absolutely ripped off".

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