Mayne-Nicholls Ban Reduced, Thapa Receives 10 Years

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Mayne-Nicholls with Qatar 2022 bid chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani in Doha in September 2010. (Getty Images)
(WFI) The FIFA Appeal Committee chose to uphold the ban of former World Cup evaluation chief Harold Mayne-Nicholls on Friday.

Mayne-Nicholls’ ban is now reduced to three years as opposed to seven set out in the original ruling issued in July 2015. He was banned from all football related activities for violating the FIFA Code of Ethics, specifically the provisions that prohibit the exchange of personal favors or gifts for assistance in winning the hosting rights to the World Cup. He must also pay a fine of $20,000.

In November, Mayne-Nicholls admitted that he had sent emails to the Aspire Academy in Qatar seeking non-paid internships for his son and nephew while serving as the evaluation chief for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. He also admitted to seeking tennis coaching opportunities for his brother-in-law. None of the requests were acted upon by Qatar.

Mayne-Nicholls would go on to give Qatar the worst evaluation report out of the countries bidding for the 2022 World Cup. Despite the country’s last place ranking, Qatar would secure the rights to host the world’s largest football tournament. Russia was chosen as the host of the 2018 edition. FIFA has launched investigations into the awarding of each of the hosting contracts.

The appeal committee believed the seven-year ban of Mayne-Nicholls was not befitting of his transgressions against football’s governing body.

“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,” the committee said in a statement.

Mayne-Nicholls’ ban went into effect on July 3, 2015, meaning he could return to see the final of the 2018 World Cup on July 15, 2018.

In a separate decision, the committee also upheld the 10-year ban of former Nepal football president Ganesh Thapa. Thapa will also owe FIFA a $20,000 fine.

In 2014, Thapa stood down from his position after serving 19 due to an investigation into allegations he embezzled millions of dollars from the national federation throughout his career.

The FIFA ethics committee says Thapa was bribed for the elections of the FIFA executive committees in 2009 and 2011 and delivered the 10-year ban on Nov. 9, 2015.

However, the appeal committee took into account that Thapa stepped down during the ethics inquiry and as a result are retroactively beginning his suspension on April 16, 2015.

By INSIDER Kevin Nutley

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