World

A day after ethics prosecutor resigns, FIFA meets amid crisis on squashed probe

  • FIFA president Sepp Blatter is seen during the semi final soccer match between Auckland City FC and San Lorenzo at the Club World Cup soccer tournament in Marrakech, Morocco, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The American lawyer who led the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process resigned from the FIFA ethics committee on Wednesday in protest over the handling of his findings.Michael Garcia cited a "lack of leadership" at the top of FIFA in a resignation statement. He also said he has lost confidence in the independence of his ethics committee colleague, German judge Joachim Eckert. Though Garcia did not identify Sepp Blatter by name, he also revealed that the FIFA executive committee — led by the longtime president — made a failed complaint of unethical conduct against the former U.S. Attorney in September.Speaking at the Club World Cup in Marrakech, Morocco, Blatter told The Associated Press he was stunned by Garcia's decision to resign."I'm just surprised," Blatter said. "It's all what I can say. Just that."(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    FIFA president Sepp Blatter is seen during the semi final soccer match between Auckland City FC and San Lorenzo at the Club World Cup soccer tournament in Marrakech, Morocco, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The American lawyer who led the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process resigned from the FIFA ethics committee on Wednesday in protest over the handling of his findings.Michael Garcia cited a "lack of leadership" at the top of FIFA in a resignation statement. He also said he has lost confidence in the independence of his ethics committee colleague, German judge Joachim Eckert. Though Garcia did not identify Sepp Blatter by name, he also revealed that the FIFA executive committee — led by the longtime president — made a failed complaint of unethical conduct against the former U.S. Attorney in September.Speaking at the Club World Cup in Marrakech, Morocco, Blatter told The Associated Press he was stunned by Garcia's decision to resign."I'm just surprised," Blatter said. "It's all what I can say. Just that."(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Friday, July 27, 2012 file photo, FIFA Ethics Committee member Michael Garcia attends a press conference in Zurich, Switzerland. Garcia, an American lawyer who led the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process resigned from the FIFA ethics committee on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014,  in protest over the handling of his findings. (AP Photo/Keystone, Walter Bieri, File)

    FILE - In this Friday, July 27, 2012 file photo, FIFA Ethics Committee member Michael Garcia attends a press conference in Zurich, Switzerland. Garcia, an American lawyer who led the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process resigned from the FIFA ethics committee on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in protest over the handling of his findings. (AP Photo/Keystone, Walter Bieri, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FIFA president Sepp Blatter, center, leaves a hotel to lead a meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. Amid another crisis at FIFA, Blatter will lead an executive committee meeting on Thursday with the sudden resignation of ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia now on the agenda. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    FIFA president Sepp Blatter, center, leaves a hotel to lead a meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. Amid another crisis at FIFA, Blatter will lead an executive committee meeting on Thursday with the sudden resignation of ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia now on the agenda. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

The FIFA executive committee is meeting Thursday amid a renewed crisis after the prosecutor it appointed resigned in protest over the handling World Cup bid investigation.

The sudden decision by Michael Garcia to quit Wednesday could increase pressure within FIFA President Sepp Blatter's executive committee to publish the American lawyer's 430-page examination of the votes that awarded the World Cup to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

Blindsided by Garcia's resignation, Blatter told The Associated Press it would be one subject of discussion at the two-day board meeting.

Executive committee meetings are always closed-door affairs but sideline politicking was already under way.

The 27 board members are split over releasing some or all of Garcia's report, which led to three of them facing unethical conduct charges.