World Cup bid inspector's ban cut from seven years to three

Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:34am EDT
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By Brian Homewood

ZURICH(Reuters) - Former World Cup bid inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls's ban from soccer has been cut from seven years to three on appeal, FIFA said on Friday.

Chilean Mayne-Nicholls was suspended in July after FIFA's ethics committee said he repeatedly asked for personal favors from one of the countries that bid to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The decisions to award the tournaments to Russia and Qatar respectively, both taken in December 2010 at the same event in Zurich, have been embroiled in controversy and been a big element in a rash of scandals plaguing international soccer.

FIFA's appeal committee said it agreed with "with the principles and arguments" presented by the ethics committee in deciding the ban on Mayne-Nicholls, a former head of the Chilean soccer federation.

However, the appeal committee "deemed that the sanction imposed was not proportionate to the breaches committed."

A fine of 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,500) was maintained.

Internal FIFA documents seen by Reuters at the time suggested that the investigation had concerned a request made to Mayne-Nicholls to an official at the Qatar-based Aspire Academy.

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 bid to stage the 2018 World Cup while the United States, Australia, Qatar, South Korea and Japan were the candidates for 2022.   Continued...

Harold Mayne-Nicholls attends a meeting with journalists about the World Cup 2018-22 bid event in Lisbon September 2, 2010. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro