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Fri 28 Nov 2014 01:03 AM

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Qatar World Cup opponent mulls FIFA presidency bid

Chilean Harold Mayne-Nicholls was head of technical committee which warned against holding World Cup in Gulf state

Qatar World Cup opponent mulls FIFA presidency bid

Prospective FIFA presidential candidate Harold Mayne-Nicholls will decide whether to run against embattled incumbent Sepp Blatter in the New Year, the Chilean has said.

Mayne-Nicholls, the former head of FIFA's technical committee which warned against holding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, said in October he might run.

"At the moment, I'm still thinking, talking with friends - by New Year I will take a decision," Mayne-Nicholls, 53, told a Dubai conference.

"Sometimes you lose, but you put some ideas on the table that can help the future of the game and that will be enough," he told reporters.

He was careful to stress that FIFA rules prevent campaigning before a Jan. 29 candidate deadline. The election is on May 29.

Blatter, a 78-year-old Swiss, is the overwhelming favourite despite opposition to his leadership due to alleged corruption within soccer's governing body.

French former FIFA deputy secretary general Jerome Champagne, 56, is the other declared candidate.

Mayne-Nicholls must get the backing of five national federations to stand and seems to be positioning himself as a reformist.

"The problem will be if all of us think the situation is okay," he said. "We as FIFA, we administrate a game that belongs to the people. We are not owners of the game."

He criticised the secret vote by FIFA's Executive Committee that decided the 2018 and 2022 tournaments hosts the same day.

Mayne-Nicholls revealed this month that he was being investigated by FIFA's ethics committee.

According to The Telegraph, FIFA is scrutinising Mayne-Nicholls over his alleged request that some family members become unpaid interns at Qatar's Aspire Academy.

"It's part of the rules of the game when you run for such a position - you know there is this kind of risk and one of them is people will try to damage you," Mayne-Nicholls said.

He was the first senior official to openly warn against playing in the Gulf's summer heat. Qatar's bid was ranked behind rivals the United States, Australia, South Korea and Japan.

"The Qataris have proposed a green solution to cool the (outdoor) stadiums and I am sure they will have it, but what will you do with the fans?" he said.

"The stadium may be cool, but the rays of the sun will still get in. What happens with our health?"

He said switching to November-December was problematic because domestic leagues would need to be halted, but January-February would cause less disruption because many leagues had a winter break around that time.

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King Kong 4 years ago

Why not?

Go ahead, Mayne-Nicholls.