Posted: Tuesday July 17, 2012 6:05PM ; Updated: Tuesday July 17, 2012 6:05PM

FIFA appoints U.S. lawyer to probe corruption

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ZURICH (AP) -- FIFA has appointed former U.S. attorney Michael J. Garcia as lead prosecutor to investigate allegations of corruption in world soccer.

One of Garcia's first tasks will be to review a Swiss court document on a World Cup kickbacks scandal and evaluate the behavior of FIFA President Sepp Blatter and other senior officials in the affair.

Garcia was appointed Tuesday by FIFA's executive committee. He should have the authority to open new investigations into other cases, including claims about the executive committee members awarded hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

His appointment is seen as a crucial step in Blatter's promised anti-corruption reforms.

FIFA also selected German judge Joachim Eckert to chair the judging chamber of its ethics court.

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