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Former FIFA inspector of 2018, 2022 World Cup bids banned by FIFA; Was leery of Russia, Qatar

FIFA 2022 World Cup Bid In Doha

DOHA, QATAR - SEPTEMBER 16: Qatar 2022 Bid Chairman H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani makes a presentation to chief FIFA inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls to bring to a close FIFA’s three day visit to the Gulf state at the Four Seasons hotel on September 16, 2010 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images for Qatar 2022)

Clive Rose

The man in charge of monitoring ethics of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting candidates has been banned from soccer for the next 7 years for unspecified ethics violations.

Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the former president of Chile’s football federation, is not allowed to comment on the story, but he was “chosen by FIFA to inspect 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting candidates.”

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And it seems he was very leery of both Qatar and Russia as hosts before he lost his job.

From the Associated Press:

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.


Surely it’s more complicated than Mayne-Nicholls saying, “These guys could be a problem” and FIFA saying, “No, they won’t be. You’re out,” but is the organization going to ever do anything without us waiting for the details.

Like the heavily-redacted Garcia report, you can’t help but think we won’t have details until we’re watching the court cases and trials of the arraigned.

Follow @NicholasMendola