Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who was in charge of the FIFA inspection team that evaluated the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding candidates, has had his ban from all football-related activities reduced on appeal from seven to three years.
The Chilean was suspended in July 2015 after being found guilty of “repeatedly asking for personal favours” from the Qataris who were subsequently awarded the 2022 tournament.
Mayne-Nicholls was originally investigated after requesting internships for his son and a nephew at the Aspire youth academy in Doha. Aspire was linked to Qatar’s successful bid and FIFA’s ethics judging chamber determined that Mayne-Nicholls had abused his position.
Ironically, Mayne-Nicholls gave Qatar the worst ranking of all the candidates for the 2022 World Cup saying it was a “high risk” option, due to the soaring termperatures in the country.
Delivering its verdict, the committee explained: “While agreeing with the principles and arguments presented by the adjudicatory chamber, the Appeal Committee deemed that the sanction imposed was not proportionate to the breaches committed.”
Mayne-Nicholls’ casmpaign to clear his name will not end here and he has indicated he will appeal further to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In a separate case, FIFA’s appeals committee upheld the 10-year ban handed down last November to former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vice-president Ganesh Thapa for “various acts of misconduct over several years”.
Thapa, who stood down last year as head of the All-Nepal Football Association, was guilty of offering and accepting cash payments relating to the 2009 and 2011 elections for the FIFA Executive Committee.