CAS reduces FIFA ban of World Cup bids inspector

FIFA bid inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls. (Luis Hidalgo/AP)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The Court of Arbitration for Sport has cleared former 2018-2022 World Cup bids inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls to return to football duty.

CAS says its panel cut the Chilean official’s three-year ban by FIFA to two years on appeal for a conflict of interest in seeking unpaid intern work in Qatar for relatives.

Mayne-Nicholls’s ban has expired because it started on July 3, 2015.

The court overturned a charge of unethically accepting benefits, saying two years is the "appropriate and proportionate penalty."

In 2010, FIFA appointed Mayne-Nicholls, then president of Chile’s soccer federation, to lead a six-member team evaluating the nine World Cup bid candidates. Qatar won the 2022 contest.

Mayne-Nicholls was a potential FIFA presidential election contender when his ethics case was opened in 2014.

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