FIFA bans bid inspector Mayne-Nicholls for seven years

Mon Jul 6, 2015 3:00pm EDT
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By Katharina Bart and Mark Hosenball

ZURICH/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who led the teams which inspected bids to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, has been banned from all football for seven years, FIFA's ethics committee said on Monday.

World soccer's governing body said Mayne-Nicholls, formerly head of the Chilean Football Federation, would not be able to take part in "any kind of football-related activity at national and international level" during that period.

FIFA, under investigation by U.S. and Swiss authorities for alleged corruption, including in connection with the awarding of World Cup hosting rights, did not give any details in its statement of why Mayne-Nicholls had been suspended.

Contacted by Reuters, Mayne-Nicholls said he was prohibited from discussing the case by the terms of the Ethics Committee.

But he said in a Tweet he would appeal to higher courts established by FIFA statutes.

Mayne-Nicholls compiled a technical report after leading visits to all countries bidding to host the two tournaments: England, Spain/Portugal, Netherlands/Belgium and Russia for 2018, and United States, Australia, Qatar, South Korea and Japan for 2022.

His report questioned Qatar's suitability for the competition due to the searing heat and logistical issues raised by hosting the tournament in one city.


Chief FIFA inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls speaks during a news conference for the FIFA Inspection Visit for the Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid in Doha September 14, 2010. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad/Files