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FIFA suspends World Cup bid evaluation official

The FIFA official who picked the sites for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup games has been suspended from all football-related activities for seven years.

The world football governing body said on Monday that this followed a FIFA Ethics Committee internal hearing.

“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, has decided to ban Harold Mayne-Nicholls,” Fifa said in a statement. “He is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international levels for a period of seven years.”

Mr. Mayne-Nicholls is the former chairman of the Bid Evaluation Group for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups and a former president of the Chilean Football Association.

FIFA did not release any details of the decision, quoting a confidentiality clause in its code of ethics.

The football body is facing corruption probes by investigators in the U.S. and Switzerland, where the organisation is based.

On Thursday, the U.S. filed formal requests to extradite seven FIFA officials detained on U.S. bribery charges in Switzerland.

The group of mostly Latin American officials were arrested in Zurich in May on suspicion that they took over $100 million of bribes.

It added that the bribes were in return for the award of media, marketing and sponsoring rights for football tournaments in the U.S. and Latin America.

Swiss prosecutors are also investigating accusations of foul play in the selection of Russia and Qatar as the venues for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

(dpa/NAN)

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