Following a plenary meeting of the FIFA Ethics Committee in Zurich on 23 January, 2013, the Chairmen of the Adjudicatory and Investigative Chambers — Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert and Michael J. Garcia, respectively — released the following statement:
Six months since the new FIFA Ethics Committee was established, we are pleased to report progress on a number of fronts.
With respect to implementing the 2012 FIFA Code of Ethics, a demonstration was given of a new E-learning tool designed to educate football officials about the Code, its rules and prohibitions, and the duty to cooperate with the work of the Ethics Committee. In addition to promoting general education and awareness, the E-learning tool will be used by the Ethics Committee as part of settlements with individuals who may have committed minor or unintentional violations. For example, the Ethics Committee may require an individual to undergo training and certification before agreeing to close a case without bringing formal charges.
The Ethics Committee also previewed the new whistleblower hotline. The Chair of the Investigative Chamber will have direct access to complaints of Code of Ethics violations, and is authorized to respond with any action he deems appropriate. The system is expected to become operational in early February 2013.
Confidentiality rules, as well as principles of fairness and due process, preclude us from disclosing information about much of our ongoing casework. We can, however, provide limited updates about three matters that we recognize are of particular interest to the public.
First, proceedings related to the settlement order in the case involving the former FIFA marketing partner ISL are ongoing. When the examination is complete, Chairman Garcia will detail his findings in a final report to FIFA’s Executive Committee, which, as previously reported, referred the matter to the Chairman. It is anticipated that this will occur at the next regularly scheduled meeting of that committee in March 2013.
Second, we are responding to recent referrals related to allegations of match manipulation. The Ethics Committee has an important role to play in ensuring that such allegations are properly addressed in order to protect the integrity of the game. The Investigatory Chamber will be making decisions as to formal proceedings on these referrals.
Third, as has been publicly announced, certain allegations regarding events surrounding the bidding for the World Cup 2018 and 2022 were referred to the Ethics Committee by FIFA following media reports. We intend to conduct a thorough review of those allegations, including the evidentiary basis for and credibility of any allegations of individual misconduct.
Finally, we remind the public that Chairman Garcia will review and consider any and all information—concerning the subjects referenced above or any other matter—that he receives.