FIFA vice president Villar warned, fined

Zurich, Nov 13 (IANS) FIFA vice president Angel Maria Villar was warned and fined 25,000 Swiss Francs ($25,000) on Friday for his failure to co-operate with investigations into the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup that was awarded to Russia.

Villar, a lawyer who chairs the FIFA legal committee, at first refused to co-operate with then-FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia. He then tried within FIFA to have the former US attorney thrown off a case which many saw as key to FIFA’s credibility, reports Xinhua.

“Mr Villar Llona failed to behave in accordance with the general rules of conduct applicable to football officials in the context of the investigations conducted by the then chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA ethics committee regarding the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bids,” FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert imposed a lighter sanction because Villar, who is also the president of the Spanish Football Association, “demonstrated a willingness to cooperate” later.

In a separate case, the ethics panel also imposed six-month bans on Congolese officials Jean Guy Blaise Mayolas Jean and Badji Mombo Wantete over “offering and accepting gifts and other benefits”, the ethics committee said.

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