FIFA panel fines Spanish football chief over conduct

By: 
Reuters

FIFA's Ethics Committee said on Friday it had fined and warned Spanish football chief and veteran FIFA official Angel Maria Villar over his conduct in relation to its investigation into the contest to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The committee did not go into any details on his conduct or on any particular incident that led to the fine.

Villar said in a statement issued by the Spanish federation (RFEF) that he was happy his name had been cleared of more serious charges of not cooperating, but denied he had "lacked decorum".

The World Cup tournaments were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively by soccer's governing body FIFA in December 2010 following a bidding contest which is now being investigated by the Swiss attorney general's office.

Buffeted by a series of scandals over the last few years, FIFA was thrown into turmoil in May by the U.S. indictments of 14 football officials and its president Sepp Blatter is suspended for 90 days pending an ethics investigation.

FIFA's Ethics Committee said on Friday it had also banned two officials from Congo for six months each over their conduct at the annual Congress this year.

Jean Guy Blaise Mayolas, vice-president of the Congolese Football Association (FECOFOOT), and Badji Mombo Wantete, general secretary of FECOFOOT, were banned for breaking rules on accepting gifts, it said.

Villar, a former player who spent most of his career at Athletic Bilbao, has been the Spanish federation (RFEF) president since 1988 and on FIFA's executive committee since 1998.

The Ethics Committee said in a statement that he was warned and fined 25,000 Swiss francs ($24,955.08) after he "failed to behave in accordance with the general rules of conduct applicable to football officials in the context of the investigations."

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