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Spanish FA president Angel Maria Villar warned and fined by FIFA

FIFA vice-president Angel Maria Villar has been warned and fined 25,000 Swiss francs ($25,000) for misconduct during the 2018-2022 World Cup bid investigation.

The FIFA ethics committee says the Spanish football federation (RFEF) president "failed to behave in accordance with the general rules of conduct."

Villar at first refused to cooperate with then-FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia and later tried to have the American lawyer thrown off the case.

FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert imposed a lighter sanction because Villar later "demonstrated a willingness to cooperate."

Villar was previously suspected of orchestrating a rule-breaking voting pact between the Spain-Portugal bid to host the 2018 World Cup and 2022 winner Qatar.

The ethics panel also imposed six-month bans on Congolese officials Jean Guy Mayolas and Badji Wantete for misconduct.

Angel Maria Villar was issued with a warning and a fine by FIFA's ethics committee.

The full FIFA statement read: "The adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee chaired by Hans Joachim Eckert has banned Mr Jean Guy Blaise Mayolas, vice-president of the Congolese Football Association (FECOFOOT), and Mr Badji Mombo Wantete, general secretary of FECOFOOT, for six months.

"It has also imposed the sanction of a warning and a fine on Mr Angel Maria Villar Llona, vice-president of FIFA and president of the Spanish Football Association. The respective bans and sanctions come into force immediately.

"The decisions were made based on investigations carried out by the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee under the chairmanship of Dr Cornel Borbely.

"Mr Mayolas and Mr Wantete have both been found guilty of committing acts contrary to article 13 (General rules of conduct) and article 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE) at the FIFA Congress 2015.

"The officials have each been banned for six months. Taking into consideration that they have already been suspended provisionally for 135 days, the remaining ban to be served will be 45 days as from the notification of this decision.

"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, thereby violating article 13 of the FCE.

"As he subsequently expressed his commitment to collaborate and demonstrated a willingness to cooperate, he has been sanctioned with a warning and a fine of CHF 25,000.

"The sanctions are effective as from Nov. 13 2015, the date on which the present decisions were notified."

The RFEF responded with a statement saying Villar may challenge the sanction.

It read: "In the framework of the proceedings in front of the FIFA ethics committee, Mr. Villar Llona was interviewed by the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA ethics committee, Mr. Michael Garcia, same as all other members of the FIFA Executive Committee.

"At the conclusion of this investigation, it has now been established that there was no lack of collaboration by Mr. Villar Llona in the clarification of the facts investigated in relation to the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022.

"The FIFA Ethics Committee has acknowledged Mr. Villar's cooperation throughout the investigation and has exonerated him of any violation of the FIFA code of ethics in this respect.

"However, the FIFA Ethics Committee has found that a procedural request made by Mr. Villar Llona in these proceedings was made outside of the applicable deadline and that a reflexive expression made by Mr. Villar Llona ('Dios mío, tiene cojones') on one occasion during the one-hour interview with Mr. Garcia was indecent. For both of these issues, the FIFA Ethics Committee has decided to issue a warning against Mr. Villar Llona and to impose a fine of CHF 25,000.

"On the one hand, Mr. Villar Llona is satisfied that this decision finally clears his name regarding the alleged lack of collaboration. On the other hand, Mr. Villar Llona is of the view that at no time did he behave in an indecent manner or breach any other provision of the FIFA Code of Ethics throughout these proceedings.

"Mr. Villar Llona regrets that oral expressions made by him have been perceived differently by some members of the FIFA Ethics Committee. For this reason, Mr. Villar Llona will evaluate whether or not to make use of any legal remedies against the imposed sanction."

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