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FIFA judges explain 7-year ban for 2018-2022 bid inspector



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ZURICH (AP) The 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid inspector was banned from soccer for seeking several favors for family members, the FIFA ethics committee has said six months after imposing a seven-year sanction.

Harold Mayne-Nicholls of Chile “repeatedly asked for personal favors related to the hosting and training of his relatives (a son, nephew and brother-in-law),” FIFA ethics judges said in a statement on Thursday.

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The bidder and institution were not identified, though it was previously reported Mayne-Nicholls approached the Aspire center in Doha about unpaid work and intern positions. The youth academy was linked to Qatar’s successful 2022 World Cup hosting bid.

“Mr. Mayne-Nicholls did not act in FIFA’s interests and ignored his responsibility as a high-ranking FIFA official, someone who was expected to act with utmost neutrality and integrity, in order to pursue his own personal interests,” the statement said.

The ethics judging chamber said Mayne-Nicholls broke several articles of FIFA’s ethics code, including offering or accepting gifts and conflicts of interest.

By giving Mayne-Nicholls written reasons for the verdict, he can now finally take his case to the FIFA appeals committee.

Mayne-Nicholls was considering standing in the FIFA presidential election when his ethics case was reported in 2014.

He 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.

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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, plus 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 as president of the Chile FA soon after completing his task for FIFA.