New Delhi: Acting head of UEFA Angel Villar Llona has escaped a ban for not co-operating with investigations into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids. But the Spaniard has been warned and handed a 25,000 Swiss Francs (£16,377) fine by the FIFA.
In a statement released on Friday by FIFA's adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee chaired by Hans Joachim Eckert, the former Athletic Bilbao player "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 [FIFA Code of Ethics].”
The release added, Llona “subsequently expressed his commitment to collaborate and demonstrated a willingness to co-operate, [therefore] he has been sanctioned with a warning and a fine of CHF 25,000.”
Llona, who is also the president of the Spanish Football Association, led the joint Spain-Portugal bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which was eventually won by Russia.
Last month, FIFA confirmed that 65-year-old former midfielder, along with Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer, was under investigation after refusing to co-operate with the investigation into the awarding of the controversial 2018 and 2022 editions of the world most popular tournament that were won by Russia and Qatar respectively.
In between, FIFA also banned Congolese Football Association vice-president Jean Guy Blaise Mayolas and general secretary Badji Mombo Wantete for six months.
According to the statement, both have 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.”