Spanish FA president arrested on corruption charges

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Spanish FA president arrested on corruption charges
Angel Maria Villar - Credit: Atlantico.net

SPANISH FOOTBALL Federation President Angel Maria Villar and his son were arrested earlier this week as part of an anti-corruption investigation.

They were detained as police raided offices the Spanish Football Federation offices in Madrid.

The office of the state prosecutor in charge of anti-corruption said they suspect Villar, who is FIFA’s senior vice-president and a UEFA vice-president, of having arranged matches for Spain’s national team that led to business deals that benefited his son.

The other three men who were arrested were Juan Padron, the federation’s vice-president of economic affairs, and the president and the secretary of the regional federation for Tenerife.

Police said the five men were arrested on charges of improper management, misappropriation of funds, corruption and falsifying documents as part of a probe into the finances of the federations. The raids were carried out by the Guardia Civil’s anti-corruption unit as part of an operation called “SOULE.”

Villar, 67, has been head of Spain’s football federation for nearly 30 years.

The former Athletic Bilbao player oversaw the Spanish national team’s wins at the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.

His son, Gorka, worked for South American football body CONMEBOL as legal director and director general until July 2016.

Inigo Mendez de Vigo, Spain’s minister of education, culture and sport, told national television moments after the raids that ‘in Spain the laws are enforced, the laws are the same for all, and nobody, nobody is above the law.’

UEFA said it was aware of the reports but declined to comment.

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