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FIFA bans 2018, 2022 World Cup bids inspector for 7 years; appeal planned

FIFA bans 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls for seven years for a breaching of the world governing body’s code of ethics

FIFA has banned 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls for seven years for a breaching of the governing body’s code of ethics.

Mayne-Nicholls, the former chairman of the Bid Evaluation Group for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, was responsible for inspecting the bids for FIFA ahead of the December 2010 vote. The former Chilean Football Association President is banned from "taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level" after an investigation from the ethics committee.

FIFA says more detailed information will be given after the final decision becomes effective and did not disclose Mayne-Nicholls' offense.

Mayne-Nicholls says he will appeal to higher courts that are "established in FIFA statutes and TAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport).

"I wonder why publishes a sanction that has outstanding resources, as this may be modified by higher courts," Mayne-Nicholls said. "I ask for understanding. I can not comment because there is express prohibition to inform by the Ethics Committee."

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Mayne-Nicholls admitted to The Telegraph in November that FIFA had started its probe over his links to the Qatar’s Aspire Academy and emails he allegedly exchanged with its director regarding the possibility of securing unpaid internships for several family members.

The ban imposed on Mayne-Nicholls is the latest in a number of incidents that have damaged FIFA’s credibility.

Although FIFA cleared Qatar and Russia of any wrongdoing over how their winning World Cup bids were secured, Switzerland Attorney General Michael Lauber said that banks in his country have noted 53 possible money-laundering incidents and more than 100 incidents of “suspicious activity” concerning the bidding process of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Swiss federal prosecutors opened criminal proceedings on May 27 relating to the awarding of those tournaments, after raiding a Zurich hotel and arresting seven FIFA officials for a separate United States investigation of bribery and racketeering.

That same day, the United States Justice Department indicted and charged 14 defendants with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, accusing the men of decades of "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption by former and current FIFA officials.

- Scooby Axson