Belfast Telegraph

Jim Boyce backs criticised Fifa report on bidding for 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

By Martyn Ziegler

Irish FA life-President and current Fifa vice-President Jim Boyce has said that he hopes lessons will be learned after the publication of an ethics committee report into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The report by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of Fifa's independent ethics committee, clears both 2018 bid winners Russia and Qatar to host the tournaments.

It does make a number of criticisms, however, of most of the bidding nations, including of England's bid for the 2018 tournament for pandering to the wishes of disgraced former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner.

Boyce said: "Personally I am pleased that the report has been issued by Mr Eckert and the findings would appear to confirm that no further action should be taken on the decisions that had been made by Fifa in respect of the awarding of the World Cups for 2018 and 2022.

"The people charged with issuing this report, Michael Garcia and Hans-Joachim Eckert, are people of the highest professional integrity and following their extensive investigations I feel it is now very important that people should concentrate solely on the wonderful occasion the World Cup provides to the many millions of people who enjoy our game."

Boyce, speaking before travelling to Budapest for Northern Ireland's crunch European Championship qualifier against Romania, added: "I also feel that various reforms have been put in place by Fifa over the past three years and that action has been taken against individuals who have been found to have committed wrongdoing."

Garcia announced he will appeal against the ruling on his investigation into bidding for the tournaments. In a statement, he said: "Today's decision by the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed in the investigatory chamber's report. I intend to appeal this decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee."

Boyce said the Garcia development increased the case for his report to be published.

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