By Paul Nicholson
January 3 – The postponed elections for the presidency of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) now look set to take place in April after reports that controversial current president Angel Maria Villar has found common ground in disputes with the Spanish sports ministry and its new Secretary of State for Sports, Jose Ramon Lete.
Villar, who had a hectic 2016 running unsuccessfully for the UEFA presidency and repeatedly being subjected to multiple corruption allegations both in Spain and within FIFA, is a key European ally of FIFA president Gianni Infantino and crucial to securing a significant proportion of his European voting base. But Villar stock has faded dramatically though he still holds a FIFA Council position.
The old-school Spanish football ‘Grandee’ was in open confrontation with former sports minister Miguel Cardenal, and under repeated allegations of fraud from his presidential rival Miguel Galan who last summer filed in the Court of Instruction of Majadahonda against Villar alleging that he has deliberately delayed the electoral process and in doing so has violated a ministerial order that is enshrined in Spanish law.
Villar – who was previously sanctioned by FIFA for failing to co-operated fully with FIFA’s ethics investigators into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding probe – was charged with “alleged malfeasance” under Article 404 of the Criminal Code.
The allegations against Villar haven’t stopped with the latest accusation from Galan being that he embezzled public funds in what is being called the ‘Haiti case’.
In 2010 the Spanish government made a grant of €219,000 to the RFEF to invest in sports schools in Haiti. That money was intended for children who suffered in the earthquake that devastated that country. While some sports equipment arrived, the money didn’t arrive nor did a number of coaches who were supposed to have traveled to Haiti.
Galán has filed a complaint in Majadahonda’s magistrate’s district with the intention of involving the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office in the case to determine what happened to the government money.
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