Angel Maria Villar, FIFA’s senior vice-president and president of the Spanish FA has been sensationally arrested in his native Spain along with his son in an anti-corruption raid carried out by Spanish authorities.
Villar, who is also a UEFA vice-president and briefly ran European football’s governing body during the interim period between Michel Platini and Aleksander Ceferin, was detained by Spain’s Guardia Civil on order of the country’s High Court.
The arrests were made after allegations Villar used RFEF funds to secure the necessary support for his re-election from regional presidents earlier this year.
In total, four people were arrested during Tuesday’s operation: Mr Villar and his son Gorka, the RFEF’s Deputy-Chairman for finance, whom several Spanish media outlets named as Juan Padron, and Secretary of the Canary Islands’ football association.
“During the investigation, which began at the start of 2016 following a complaint made by the National Sports Council,” read a statement from the Civil Guard.
“Officers have been able to determine how the Chairman of the RFEF was supposedly able to encourage the organising of matches between the Spanish national side and other national sides, thus receiving compensation for services and other commercial relations that benefitted his son, a lawyer who specialises in sports law, who was also arrested during the operation.”
A brief police statement to the media report the arrests are due to investigations into ‘irregularites in the management of the Federation’.
The 67-year-old, who has been in place since 1988, was controversially re-elected as RFEF president for an eighth successive terms in May after his sole rival, Jorge Perez, could not muster the necessary backing to contest an election.
Last September, the 67-year-old abandoned his plans to replace Michel Platini as UEFA president to concentrate on his renewal at the RFEF.
These arrests come just two days before Villar was to play a major role in the announcement of the 2017/18 La Liga fixtures.