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Spain’s Villar released after court relents to grant bail

By Andrew Warshaw

August 1 – Angel Maria Villar, FIFA’s second most senior official until he quit last week after being arrested for suspected corruption, has been granted bail by a Spanish judge despite having previously been considered a flight risk.

Spain’s High Court has set the bail for the suspended Spanish football federation (RFEF) boss at €300,000 following his detention on July 18 over allegations of collusion, embezzlement and falsifying documents.

Villar has had his passport confiscated and has to be at the court’s disposal at all times. He has denied all the charges against him though prosecutors allege he used his influence to funnel private and public funds into regional federations in exchange for votes to remain in power.

He is also suspected of using his control of the television rights for Spain’s friendly matches to secure economic benefits for his son Gorka, who worked for CONMEBOL under three now-disgraced presidents and was also arrested last month along with two other officials.

Gorka has been set bail of €150,000, while Juan Padron, who looked after the RFEF’s financial affairs, was set bail at €300,000, the same figure as Villar Snr.

Villar, 67, resigned from his positions as senior vice-president at FIFA and a member of the decision-making FIFA Council within days of his arrest, and from his vice-presidency at UEFA.

He has been suspended for a year at the Spanish FA pending the outcome of the investigation.

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