ZURICH: After six months FIFA’s ethics committee has finally told former World Cup bid inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls why he has been banned from football for seven years writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The delay in providing the former Chilean federation president with a written reasoning has risked questions about the operation of the world federation’s ethics administration.
Mayne-Nicholls was sentenced last July 6 yet he had seen the cases of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA head Michel Platini jump the queue, prompting concerns about both legal fair play and political interference.
A statement from the ethics committee said he had “ignored his responsibility as a high-ranking official” in “repeatedly [asking] 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 [country’s] bid committee.”
It is known that the country concerned was Qatar and that the institution was the Aspire Academy which, while not directly involved in the bid, was a supporter and was used by the bid committee to demostrate the state of the art nature of facilities being developed in the Gulf state.
Mayne-Nicholls’s report into all the 2018 and 2022 bid nations was highly critical of the prospect for finals in Qatar because of the searing summer temperatures.
The ethics committee said Mayne-Nicholls had been guilty of breaching four articles of the FIFA Code of Ethics, the most series being the one concerning the offering and acceptance of gifts.
A statement added: “This provision aims at guaranteeing that the requirement for FIFA – and its bodies and officials – to behave with integrity and neutrality is upheld at all times.”
The requests hd been of a “private nature” and made only a few days after the visit to the committee while Mayne-Nicholls was still exercising his duties.
Hence “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.”
# # # #