Spanish government ready to take over football


July 22, 2017
In this file photo from July 18, former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation Angel Maria Villar (right) is led by Spanish Civil Guard policeman to enter the Federation headquarters during an anti-corruption operation in Las Rozas, outside Madrid.


With Angel Maria Villar in jail, the Spanish government is ready to step in and take control of football.

Spain's sports authority is seeking the temporary removal of Villar, the long-time president of the Spanish Football Federation and FIFA's senior vice-president, after his arrest and imprisonment in an anti-corruption investigation.

Inigo Mendez de Vigo, minister of education, culture and sport and the government's spokesman, said yesterday that the government is prepared to take charge of the operations of the federation so Spanish football is not harmed by the scandal.

"What we want is to guarantee the complete normalcy of the institution when its president and vice-president are in prison because of a judge's decision (to deny them bail)," Mendez de Vigo said. "We want to send a message to the big family of football so everyone knows that we are taking steps."

The Higher Council of Sports said Thursday that it will ask the country's administrative court for sports to open a disciplinary procedure against Villar and three others.

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