World Cup: Fifa official has ban reduced to two years

Qatar 2022 bid Chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani with Harold Mayne-Nicholls
Qatar 2022 bid chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani with Harold Mayne-Nicholls

A Fifa official who assessed bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has had his ban from football cut to two years.

Former Chilean Football Association president Harold Mayne-Nicholls, 56, was one of five senior officials Fifa said were being investigated.

Mayne-Nicholls has served the suspension because the initial seven-year ban was issued in 2015.

He admitted speaking to officials from Qatar's bid about work placements for relatives at the Aspire youth academy.

Fifa's ethics committee felt those conversations provided "cause enough to doubt the integrity of the inspection process", according to leaked emails between a committee member and Mayne-Nicholls.

The Chilean's ban was initially reduced on appeal to three years, but on Friday it was further cut to two by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Mayne-Nicholls chaired Fifa's bid evaluation group for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

In his 2010 report to Fifa, Mayne-Nicholls expressed serious concerns about conditions in Qatar, where summer temperatures can reach 50C.

Mayne-Nicholls was one of several senior Fifa officials to call for an independent report into the award process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to be published in full.

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