FIFA Bans Mayne-Nicholls For Seven Years Over Allegations In World Cup Bidding Process

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Harold Mayne-Nicholls
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 (QATAR - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

FIFA’s ethics committee has banned Harold Mayne-Nicholls for seven years over allegations about an email exchange with the head of Qatar’s Aspire Academy during the bidding process. Mayne-Nicholls, who was the former head of the Chilean Football Association, was banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activities at the national and international level for a period of seven years.

Mayne-Nicholls, who headed the Bid Evaluation Group for the 2018 and 2002 World Cups in 2010, allegedly emailed the head of Aspire Academy during the bidding process to enquire about the possibilities of unpaid internships for his son, nephew, and brother-in-law. However, no internships were ever provided by the academy as per RT.com.

The 54-year-old football official was skeptical that he was being investigated given that he was critical of Qatar’s fittingness to host the world tournament in his final report ranking the country as the only “high-risk” option due to very high temperature during summer, although the right for the 2022 World Cup was still awarded to Qatar. The investigation against Mayne-Nicholls was launched on November last year. He had denied any wrongdoings saying that nothing has come of the exchanges with Aspire.

“For me it’s really strange that [the ethics committee] are losing energy, money and time over such an investigation but those are the rules and I have to follow them,” Mayne-Nicholls said as per the Guardian.

Mayne-Nicholls has not been charged with any crimes. However, he was at the center of a voting process under scrutiny by criminal investigators in the Eastern District of New York as well as in Switzerland. The ban was handed down after a hearing on Monday, in the presence of Mayne-Nicholls and head of FIFA ethic committee Dr. Cornel Borbely.

“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, has decided to ban Harold Mayne-Nicholls, former chairman of the Bid Evaluation Group for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups and former Chilean Football Association President, from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for a period of seven years,” a statement on FIFA’s website said.

FIFA has not revealed the reasons for the ruling yet, but promised of “more detailed information … after the final decision becomes effective.”Mayne-Nicholls took the social media platform Twitter to plead for understanding adding that he could not comment further because the ethics committee has prohibited him from speaking about the ban. He also posted that he will appeal the seven-year ban handed to him according to reports of NYdailynews.com.