LAUSANNE: Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who led the 2018/2022 World Cup bid inspections, has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against his three-year ban for seeking unpaid intern work in Qatar for relatives writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The hearing, later this spring, could be the first time that evidence from former FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia’s investigation into the World Cup bid contests is tested in a court outside the FIFA system.

Mayne-Nicholls, a former president of the Chilean federation, had noted specifically in his World Cup report the searing summer temperatures in Qatar, advice which a majority of the executive committee either ignored or did not hold as significant.

However, the task proved doubly poisonous for Mayne-Nicholl.

Firstly he was absent from home so long that rivals and critics ousted him from the Chilean federation leadership. Secondly, he fell foul of the FIFA ethics committee and was banned from the game for seven years after inquiring of Qatar’s Aspire Academy whether a son and a nephew could become unpaid interns.

Mayne-Nicholls insisted that correspondence records held by the Chilean federation would clear his name by clarifying dates and intention; however, since he was no longer president he was denied access to the documentation.

It is also understood his statements to the media of impatience over the ethics process was considered to have been a further breach of regulations. The ethics committee failed to provide him with a written judgment until six months after its verdict had been announced – risking contravening the norms of natural justice.

The FIFA appeal committee, in trimming his suspension to three years, accepted the “principles and arguments presented by the adjudicatory chamber [but] deemed that the sanction imposed was not proportionate to the breaches committed.”