Spanish Football Association (RFEF) president Angel Maria Villar Llona has claimed his 25,000 CHF (Swiss Francs) fine from FIFA was because of an “indecent” comment he made, and not because he refused to co-operate with an investigation.
On Friday, FIFA’s adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee released a statement confirming Villar Llona – a FIFA vice-president – had been fined and warned after his initial reluctance to help Michael Garcia, who had been appointed to lead an inquest into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The statement claimed Villar Llona failed to “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.”
The release went on to say Villar Llona’s subsequent co-operation aided his cause, but the RFEF and the man himself have now claimed his fine was as a result of telling Garcia to “have some balls”.
“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,” a statement from the RFEF read.
“The FIFA Ethics Committee has acknowledged Mr Villar’s co-operation 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 mio, tiene cojones” [“My god, have some balls”] – 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, he behaved in an indecent manner or breached 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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