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Villar Resigns from FIFA and UEFA Roles Following Arrest

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The president of the RFEF, Ángel María Villar. Photo: Reuters

Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) boss Ángel María Villar has resigned from his vice-president roles at FIFA and UEFA after his arrest as part of an anti-corruption investigation.

The news was confirmed today by UEFA, European football’s governing body.

It comes after 67-year-old Villar was suspended yesterday by Spain’s Government, following his arrest.

He denies any wrongdoing but has been remanded in custody while an investigation continues.

“Villar will no longer have any official functions at our organisation,” a UEFA spokesman said.

“In view of the ongoing court proceedings in Spain, we have no further comments to make on this matter.”

Villar, who was appointed as RFEF President in 1988, was among a group of people arrested in connection to allegations of collusion, embezzlement and falsifying documents on July 18.

He is also alleged to have sought favors in return for votes during his most recent re-election in May.

Also arrested following a series of raids in Madrid and Tenerife were Villar’s son Gorka, RFEF vice-president Juan Padron and Ramon Angel Hernandez, a member of Tenerife’s football federation.

In a statement, the Consejo Superior de Deportes, Spain’s highest sports council, said the suspension for Villar would be reconsidered “depending on how events occur”.

Padron has also been suspended for a year.

Villar earned 22 caps for Spain during his playing career, which he spent mainly in the midfield of Athletic Bilbao.

The 67-year-old has previously been involved in controversial issues.

In 2015, he was fined $25,600 by FIFA’s Ethics Committee after failing to comply with an investigation into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

During his recent re-election as RFEF President, Villar’s main rival Jorge Perez withdrew from the race after claiming there were irregularities in the process.

Perez, who was the organization’s secretary general, asked for the election to be canceled but his request was rejected.

Villar, who was a senior vice-president of FIFA, served as the interim UEFA President between October 2015 and September following the ban of Michel Platini.

He had initially entered the race to replace the Frenchman, but withdrew to concentrate on domestic football.

By Dan Palmer

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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