The head of Spanish Football, Angel María Villar, has been arrested, together with his son Gorka, following allegations of corruption and the embezzlement of funds.
Also arrested during raids by the Guardia Civil on Tuesday morning was his Vice President Juan Padrón and the secretary of the Tenerife Football Association.
The operation, ordered by High Court Judge Judge Pedraz, is investigating alleged financial irregularities committed by the President and his son with the intention of profiting personally.
Spanish media report that the allegations centre on the falsification of documents and skimming profits from international football matches. None of those arrested have yet made any comment on the allegations.
Villar, a former Spanish International player with 22 caps, made almost 300 appearances for Athletic Bilbao. He has been President of RFEF (Federación Española de Fútbol) since 1988 during which time Spain’s men’s football team has won two European championships as well as the 2010 World Cup, with La Liga becoming, perhaps, the dominant force in the sport.
Villar has also served on the council of football’s world governing body Fifa for the past 29 years, but was reprimanded by Fifa for failing to comply with its internal inquiry into the 2018/22 World Cup bidding process.
The former president of FC Barcelona Joan Gaspart defended the honesty of Angel Maria Villar, whom he has defined as “a good friend”.
Speaking to Catalan radio station RAC1, Gaspart defended the presumption of innocence of Villar, saying that he had no doubt that the investigation would eventually clear his name
The Board of Directors of the RFEF, has a meeting scheduled for Wednesday in Las Rozas, where the fixture list is to be confirmed for La Liga’s coming season. A spokesman for the Federation said that this would still go ahead.
However during the course of Tuesday evening a notice appeared on the RFEF website stating that the meeting would be postponed to a future date.