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Nelson Mandela

FIFA bans council member Niersbach in World Cup bids probe

FIFA council member Wolfgang Niersbach, a member of FIFA's ruling council, was banned from soccer for one year on Monday in the first sanction from the investigation into Germany's 2006 World Cup bid.

FIFA's ethics committee found Niersbach guilty of failing to report findings about possible unethical conduct and conflicts of interest during the bidding process.

Niersbach, who was a vice president of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee in charge of media and marketing, described the punishment as "inappropriate and excessive."

Last year, Niersbach had been considered a possible successor to UEFA President Michel Platini before resigning as president of...

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