Spain football chief Angel Maria Villar Llona arrested

Pauline Gross
July 19, 2017

The executive who oversaw Spain's rise to dominate world football in recent years was arrested yesterday in an anti-corruption investigation, dealing yet another blow to the sport's already-tarnished image.

The state prosecutor and Spanish police say Villar, his son Gorka Villar, and two other soccer officials were detained while raids were carried out at the federation headquarters and other properties.

Arrangements for the new season, due to start on the weekend of August 19, were thrown into doubt after the arrest of Villar, his son Gorka and several other Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) members after a raid on offices in Madrid as part of an anti-corruption investigation.

His son Gorka along with federation vice-president and financial chief Juan Padron were also held in connection with the probe, which notably focuses on allegations of skimming profits from worldwide matches.

Villar, the president of the Spanish federation and FIFA's senior vice president, emerged from a Guardia Civil vehicle in casual clothes and was taken inside the premises by two agents. During his time as president, Spain has won two European championships and a 2010 World Cup.

"We have taken note of the media reports concerning the situation of Mr. Villar Llona", FIFA said in a statement.

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Angel Maria Villar, the president of the Spanish federation and FIFA's senior vice president, is being investigated for allegedly arranging matches for Spain that led to business deals benefiting his son, Gorka Villar.

Earlier on Wednesday, the head of Spain's government sports council, Jose Ramon Lete, had said the draw would go ahead despite the arrests and cancelled meetings.

Villar has also been at the heart of Federation Internationale de Football Association and UEFA politics since the 1990s, and has worked closely with several global soccer leaders who have since been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Villar is also the Vice President of UEFA and stood for the post of President to replace Frenchman Michel Platini before withdrawing. His son served as a managing director of the South American football confederation (CONMEBOL).

Gorka Villar left CONMEBOL in July 2016.

Villar is suppose to preside the meeting which would discuss about the match schedule for Spain's next La Liga soccer season.

Other reports by GizPress

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