FIFA on Friday confirmed investigator Michael Garcia had lodged an appeal after complaining his report into alleged World Cup corruption had been misrepresented.
Garcia carried out an exhaustive investigation into the bidding which led to the controversial awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
FIFA cleared Qatar and Russia of corruption and ruled out a re-vote for the tournaments despite widespread allegations of wrongdoing.
However, Garcia slammed an “incomplete and erroneous” version of his report and said he planned to appeal.
“Regarding media reports about a potential appeal by Michael J Garcia, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, FIFA can today confirm receipt of his intention to appeal to the FIFA Appeal Committee,” said a FIFA statement.
“Taking into consideration that the deadline to submit reasons for the appeal is ongoing, FIFA is not in a position to comment further for the time being.”
Garcia, a former New York federal prosecutor, spent 18 months investigating the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
His 350-page report summed up an investigation that involved interviewing more than 75 witnesses and compiling a dossier with more than 200,000 pages and audio interviews.
But he issued a statement on Thursday saying: “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.”
German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber, had stated the investigation had not yielded evidence of corruption and there would be no re-vote on awarding the tournaments.
The final 42-page report released by Eckert admitted that even though there had been a series of worrying episodes in the bidding for both tournaments, there was not enough evidence to justify reopening the process.
On Friday, FIFA insisted it had no influence over the findings.
“The Ethics Committee is independent from FIFA and contains two separate chambers that mirror the system of justice in many countries with an investigatory chamber independent from the adjudicatory chamber,” added the statement.
“In line with this independence, FIFA does not have any influence over the writing of investigatory reports nor over the findings of any investigations.”
Some of the strongest criticism of FIFA’s conduct has come from reigning world champions Germany.
German Football League (DFL) president Reinhard Rauball claims European governing body UEFA should even consider leaving FIFA if the World Cup bidding report is not published in full.
“The result is a communicative meltdown and shaken the foundations of FIFA in a way I’ve never experienced before,” Dr Rauball told German magazine Kicker.
The DFL boss said the decision of the Ethics Committee must be published, as must Garcia’s bill of indictment, “to make it clear what the charges were and how they were judged”.
Rauball said if that failed to happen and the “crisis” was not resolved in a credible manner, “we have to wonder whether we are still in good hands with FIFA”.