World Cup corruption: Fifa report judge under fresh fire

Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Qatar was awarded the 2022 Fifa World Cup in December 2010

Fifa's report into World Cup corruption has come under fresh fire - from two whistleblowers who gave evidence.

Phaedra Al Majid and Bonita Mersiades have complained to football's world governing body that promises of confidentiality were breached.

Fifa says its disciplinary committee will investigate the claims.

Hans-Joachim Eckert's report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was published last week.

But the document has already been criticised by Michael Garcia, the man who investigated claims of wrongdoing.

The American lawyer said Eckert's 42-page report contained "numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations".

That prompted some leading football figures to call for Garcia's own report, which runs to hundreds of pages, to be published in full.

Eckert has said he was "surprised" by Garcia's criticism, arguing that "a lot of my report was word for word" from the American's findings.

Garcia spent two years investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups after claims of corruption surfaced.

But Eckert's report cleared Russia and Qatar, who will stage the 2018 and 2022 events respectively, of wrongdoing and instead was critical of rival bidders England and Australia.

Al Majid worked as an international media officer for the Qatar 2022 bid team before losing her job in 2010, while Mersiades was the head of communications for Australia's 2022 bid before leaving in 2010.

They issued a joint statement criticising Eckert.

"Although not named in the report, we were clearly identifiable and within hours of its publication had been widely unmasked as the 'whistleblowers' in German, British and Australian media," it read.

Al Majid and Mersiades have also complained that Eckert used his report to question their credibility.

They argue that this is "particularly puzzling" as his report "simultaneously uses the same information we provided to form significant parts of his inquiry in respect of the Australian and Qatar World Cup bids".

However, Al Majid has admitted lying about Qatar's bid in the past.

She claimed three members of Fifa's executive committee were paid $1.5m to vote for the Gulf state, only to retract those allegations in a sworn statement. The allegations were also denied by the three accused.

She then subsequently changed her mind again, telling the Mail on Sunday newspaper this weekend that she only signed the retraction to avoid being sued by Qatar 2022 bid executives.

Garcia has already stated he intends to appeal against Eckert's report to Fifa. Garcia and Eckert are due to meet on Thursday.

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