Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the Fifa official who on Monday was suspended from all football actitivities for 7 years, requested “personal favours” from Qatar days after embarking on a World Cup inspection of the country,.
The Telegraph has revealed how Mayne-Nicholls wrote to a sports organisation linked to the Qatari bid, to request specialist training in the country for family members, shortly before he delivered his report on the suitability of the Gulf state as a World Cup host.
Mayne-Nicholls, the Chilean chairman of the inspection team which assessed each country bidding to host the tournament, emailed Andreas Bleicher, who helps run Aspire, a Qatari government-backed body, asking if they could “evaluate and train” his son and nephew.
He also noted how his brother-in-law (a former professional) “is really interested in having a chance to coach tennis in a professional way in Qatar”, adding: “May I give him your email and you inform him about any possibility[?]”.
The documents show how the two sides discussed his proposal in detail.
After initially agreeing to the request, Aspire performed a u-turn, saying it would have to decline the request on the grounds that “it might leave space for incorrect interpretations”.
Mr Mayne-Nicholls’s report subsequently warned that Qatar would “present very hot weather conditions” that posed a health risk to players and spectators.
The publication of his exchanges with Aspire come after he was suspended from all football activity for seven years following a Fifa investigation into his conduct. On Monday night he said he would appeal.
Mayne-Nicholls, who was head of the Chilean football federation at the time, also requested “a general agreement between Aspire and our federation”, which could have involved Chile’s under-17 team training at the Aspire academy.
The documents show that he and Bleicher exchanged several emails between Sept 19-30, 2010 – only days after the inspector had travelled to Qatar to assess it.
An internal Fifa document seen by the Telegraph dated November 12 last year states that Mayne-Nicholls “repeatedly asked for personal favours – including special treatment for family members – exerting pressure until Mr Bleicher signalled his unwillingness to commit to anything in the near future”.