FIFA bans former 2018-2022 World Cup inspector for seven years

Harold Mayne-Nicholls has been banned by FIFA for seven years.

DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

ZURICH — FIFA has banned the official it chose to inspect 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting candidates for breaking ethics rules.

Harold Mayne-Nicholls was suspended for seven years by FIFA’s ethics committee which gave no reason in its decision published on Monday.

The former Chile football federation president has previously spoken to some media of conversations he had in 2010 with officials in Qatar about possible work placements for relatives at the Aspire youth academy.

Mayne-Nicholls was considering standing in the FIFA presidential election when his ethics case was reported last year.

Instead, he is barred "from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for a period of seven years," the ethics panel said in a brief statement.

FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert chaired the panel which conducted a personal hearing for Mayne-Nicholls, who can appeal to FIFA and then the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Eckert’s statement said "more detailed information will be given after this final decision becomes effective."

Challenges to FIFA’s appeals committee and subsequently to CAS typically take around one year.

Mayne-Nicholls was appointed by FIFA in 2010 to lead a six-member team evaluating the 2018-2022 World Cup bidders. All nine candidates were visited between July and September 2010.

In the technical report, Mayne-Nicholls flagged eventual winners Russia and Qatar as presenting the most risk to FIFA as potential host nations.

The FIFA executive committee largely ignored his report, and a FIFA-commissioned analysis of the commercial prospects for each bidder’s World Cup project, in a December 2010 vote.

Mayne-Nicholls was voted out of office in Chile soon after completing his task for FIFA.