FIFA reduces Mayne-Nicholls ban to three years


FIFA has reduced the ban from football issued to former official Harold Mayne-Nicholls following an appeal.

The organisation's Adjudicatory Chamber chose to suspend Mayne-Nicholls from all footballing activities for seven years in January, and fined him 20,000CHF.

Former head of Chile's football association Mayne-Nicholls had been found guilty of misconduct, conflict of interest and accepting gifts after an investigation into his work as head of the Bid Evalutation Group for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, but FIFA's Appeal Committee has since accepted that the seven-year ban was too severe.

"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," FIFA said in a statement on Friday.

Mayne-Nicholls was handed the ban in July of last year after an investigation into a chain of emails, in which he asked Qatar's Aspire Academy for certain favours - none of which were ultimately granted. 

He "repeatedly asked for personal favours related to the hosting and training of his relatives (a son, nephew and brother-in-law) at an institution linked with that Bid Committee," FIFA said. 

"Not only were these requests of a private nature, but they were made only a few days after the visit to the Bid Committee, during the time the Bid Evaluation Group of which Mr Mayne-Nicholls was the chairman was still exercising its duties and prior to the election of the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.

"By making the requests, Mr Mayne-Nicholls did not act in FIFA's interests and ignored his responsibility as a high-ranking FIFA official, someone who was expected to act with utmost neutrality and integrity, in order to pursue his own personal interests."

Mayne-Nicholls vowed last year to fight his sanction and slammed the need to investigate, given that his official report into Qatar's suitability to host the World Cup ranked them as a "high-risk" option.

FIFA also confirmed that Ganesh Thapa, former president of the All-Nepal Football Association, has had his 10-year suspension from football and 20,000CHF fine upheld.

Thapa was found guilty last November of soliciting and accepting bribes during FIFA's Executive Committee elections in 2009 and 2011.