FIFA has issued a seven-year ban against the man it selected to inspect bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Harold Mayne-Nicholls, a former Chile football federation president who considered running for FIFA president last year, was banned by the soccer federation's ethics committee Monday. No reason was given for the decision.
In a brief statement, the ethics committee said Mayne-Nicholls would not be allowed to take part "in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for a period of seven years."
FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert chaired the panel that conducted a personal hearing for Mayne-Nicholls, who can appeal to FIFA and then the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In a statement, Eckert said "more detailed information will be given after this final decision becomes effective."
Appointed by FIFA in 2010 to lead an evaluation team looking into potential hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Mayne-Nicholls concluded in his report that Russia and Qatar could present problems as host nations. The FIFA executive committee largely ignored the report and eventually awarded the next two tournaments to Russia and Qatar.
The U.S. Justice Department and the Swiss attorney general's office are conducting investigations into allegations of bribery associated with the bids. In May, federal authorities announced corruption indictments against 14 individuals with ties to FIFA. The investigations prompted FIFA President Sepp Blatter to announce his pending resignation four days after he was elected to a fifth term.