Always Free To Place a Hit On Someone
"That is not our job," Eckert said at FIFA last Friday, when giving his most detailed insight yet on the investigation. "We will not make any recommendations."Ever since a 22-man FIFA executive committee chose Russia and Qatar in December 2010, critics have sought reasons to justify change.Their hope has been sustained by reports and allegations calling into question Qatar's fitness to host the world's favorite sporting event: Voting collusion, bribery, rights of slave labour and gay fans, extreme heat and disruption to European club football have all been raised as reasons to remove the tournament.The wait for a definitive independent probe into the contests has been peppered with resignations of FIFA executive committee members implicated in other cases of unethical behavior.The integrity of FIFA's ruling board has been lacking so often that it added to an impression something must have been wrong when those now-discredited men were power brokers.For those critics of FIFA, last Friday must have been difficult.Still, Eckert has more authority than he admits to, according to some sports lawyers who talked to The Associated Press about the blockbuster case.Eckert suggested last Friday he is limited by FIFA rules to only judge individuals using evidence provided by ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia, the American lawyer leading the investigation.It is, according to Eckert, for the FIFA executive board or the congress of 209 member associations to decide if the independent ethics committee's work justifies voting again on which country should host the competition.Not necessarily so, some experienced sports lawyers told the AP in recent interviews."What is the point of an ethics commission if it can't take the biggest political decisions?" said one lawyer who has been involved in FIFA cases."According to the rules it is possible," said another, suggesting that FIFA's ethics committee can take "any kinds of decisions."The lawyers spoke on condition of anonymity because they could potentially be involved in legal cases arising from FIFA Coin the Garcia-Eckert probe.Eckert refused to say if sanctions were likely against some officials involved in the contest, such as voting members of the FIFA board or staffers from the nine bidding candidates from 11 countries.