Zurich - FIFA vice-president Angel Maria Villar was warned and fined $25 000 on Friday for misconduct during the 2018-2022 Soccer World
Cup bid investigation.
The light sanctions from the FIFA ethics
committee end a case which last year had potential to bring a more
severe verdict on Villar, who is the No 2 elected UEFA official behind president Michel Platini.
The punishment was for an "indecent"
remark during a one-hour interview with then-FIFA prosecutor Michael
Garcia, the Spanish soccer federation said in a statement.
the longtime federation president, said something similar to "He's got a
nerve" in his native language, according to the Spanish body.
regrets that oral expressions made by him have been perceived
differently by some members of the FIFA ethics committee," the
federation said, adding he believed that "at no time he behaved in an
indecent manner or breached any other provision of the FIFA Code of
Villar, a lawyer who chairs the FIFA legal committee, at
first refused to co-operate with Garcia. He then tried within FIFA to
have the former U.S. Attorney thrown off a case which many saw as key to
The Spanish soccer federation president
"failed to behave in accordance with the general rules of conduct,"
during Garcia's investigation, the FIFA ethics panel said in a
FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert imposed a lighter sanction because Villar later "demonstrated a willingness to cooperate."
was previously suspected of orchestrating a rule-breaking voting pact
between the Spain-Portugal bid to host the 2018 World Cup and 2022
A brief probe by FIFA's previous ethics committee dismissed that claim in 2010.
Garcia's investigation was expected to go deeper into the alleged
seven-vote pact which FIFA President Sepp Blatter later acknowledged did
Villar's light sanction could mean that Franz Beckenbauer,
a former FIFA executive committee member who took part in the December
2010 votes, will also escape a ban.
Beckenbauer's pending case also involves allegations of initially refusing to cooperate with Garcia.
a separate case, the ethics panel also imposed six-month bans on
Congolese officials Jean Guy Mayolas and Badji Wantete for misconduct
during the FIFA congress in May.
Their offenses related to "offering and accepting gifts and other benefits," the ethics committee said.
Both officials have 45 days left to serve after their provisional suspensions imposed in June.