FIFA confirms corruption probe into actions of Spanish Federation chief

Ethics Committee to investigate involvement of Ángel María Villar in Russia and Qatar bids

Villar durante la asamblea de la RFEF el pasado mes de julio.
Villar durante la asamblea de la RFEF el pasado mes de julio.Zipi (EFE)

The Ethics Committee at the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) announced on Wednesday that it is investigating Ángel María Villar, the president of the Spanish Football Federation, for the alleged buying of votes during the selection process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup events, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively.

In a statement published on the FIFA website, the committee stated that the investigation into Villar is progressing and is now in the hands of the president of the Ethics Committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert.

The statement adds that no further names of those under investigation can be made public given that legal procedures impede it.

The governing body of international soccer also stated that until a sanction is finalized, all of the names included in the probe are assumed to be innocent. “Under the FIFA Code of Ethics, pursuant to the presumption of innocence, the investigatory chamber shall examine all circumstances of the cases equally,” the statement reads. “In this sense, all parties are presumed innocent until a decision has been passed by the adjudicatory chamber.”

The statement also makes reference to the three-month suspensions of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, and Michel Platini, the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The committee stated that it would attempt to reach a ruling before the end of he suspension. “The investigatory chamber will do everything in its power to ensure that a decision can be taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, within the 90-day suspension period (which began on 8 October 2015) of the two football officials,” the statement says.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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