A closer look at the personalities under spotlight in Michael Garcia's report

28 June 2017 08:09

Michael Garcia's report into the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding races might have failed to find the smoking gun some were expecting, but there is no shortage of fascinating detail within its 422 pages.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the personalities under his spotlight.

Angel Maria Villar Llona - The FIFA vice-president obviously did not think much of Garcia's investigation and the description of their only interview is about as angry as the American lawyer gets. Villar Llona's opening gambit was to fire questions at Garcia about who he was working for and what he was investigating. Before Garcia could get a word in, the ex-midfielder had told him "you really have balls" for trying to question a 'made man', such as he. Garcia describes his tone as "inappropriate" and "truly disturbing" and suggests it is necessary to hear the recording to appreciate the full indignation. The Spaniard would be fined £20,000 for his antics but remains one of football's top officials.

Franz Beckenbauer - A princely figure on the field and in the dugout, the German was building an impressive career in football administration. Not anymore. Currently under investigation for alleged fraud linked to the 2006 World Cup, Beckenbauer's reputation takes a few more dents from Garcia. First, there are schoolboy-esque excuses for not answering his questions, then grandstanding to German media about Garcia's impertinence, before unflattering chapter and verse on how he and his associates conducted themselves.

Jack Warner - It is hard to know where to start with Warner. Despite never intending to vote for England, he played the bid like a fiddle. He got his "adopted son" jobs with Tottenham, at Wembley and then Aston Villa, gained undisclosed benefits for a team he owns, Joe Public FC, and one he treated like his own, Trinidad & Tobago. He also attempted to persuade the Football Association to forget a £168,000 debt owed by the Jamaican football federation.

Nicolas Leoz - A former sports journalist, the Paraguayan rose to the presidency of South America's confederation in 1986 and stayed there until 2013. During that climb to the top, Leoz collected many honours and he liked to record them in a big book. There was, however, a page free for a knighthood, something that according to Lord Triesman he hoped to pick up from the Queen. The FA told him this was not a possibility and wondered if naming a "disability cup" after him would be enough. It was sensibly pointed out it would meet Leoz's high demands and this was not something the English bid should be considering anyway. Leoz shrugged and voted for Spain/Portugal.

Ricardo Teixeira - Another former FIFA boss currently banned and under criminal investigation, Teixeira ran the Brazilian FA for 23 years. He has been suspected of earning a fortune through backhanders but denies any wrongdoing. What Garcia reveals is his rider: luxury cars with chauffeurs, presidential suites and first-class air tickets. So far, so normal. Teixeira outdid himself in November 2010 when he brought his Brazil side to Doha for a friendly against Argentina. He, his wife and daughter were given what the Qatari bid described as "TOP VVIP treatment" and ran up an £18,000 hotel bill for four nights. This meant they had access to "two of Qatar's best drivers". Lionel Messi's bill, on the other hand, was more like £1,000, but then who were the fans really there to see?

Michel D'Hooghe - Usually considered to be one of FIFA's good guys, the Belgian doctor does not get a clean bill of health from Garcia. The head of FIFA's medical committee might have been expected to raise the issue of Qatar's blast-furnace summers in key meetings before the vote, but D'Hooghe did not, according to the report. Then there is his failure to state that "the translator" who joined him and old friend Vyacheslav Koloskov for lunch in Bruges was Alexey Sorokin, the chief executive of Russia's 2018 bid. And finally there was the unedifying episode of his friend's son trading on his name to win business in Qatar. A FIFA ethics investigation cleared D'Hooghe of wrongdoing in 2015 but Garcia's verdict is that his conduct raised "serious issues as to Dr D'Hooghe's judgment".

Source: PA


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