Angel Maria Villar was
voted in unopposed for a seventh four-year term as president of
the Spanish football federation (RFEF) on Thursday amid
allegations of irregularities in the electoral process.
The 62-year-old, who is also a vice president of UEFA and
FIFA, was the only candidate for the post at a general assembly
at the RFEF headquarters outside Madrid and received 161 of 167
votes, with five blank votes and one void.
A Spanish court had earlier rejected a last-minute bid to
have the election postponed filed by Ignacio del Rio, a former
Madrid city councilor who has accused Villar and the RFEF of
violating electoral rules by bringing the vote forward in what
Del Rio said was a "murky atmosphere."
The court, the Audiencia Nacional, ruled that the case was
not of "special urgency," as Del Rio argued, and that allowing
the election to proceed on Thursday was unlikely to "damage the
A triumphant Villar, with UEFA President Michel Platini
watching from the front row, thanked delegates including Spain
coach Vicente del Bosque for their support and said the election
was "an example" to other federations around the world.
"It's legal and it's absolutely democratic," he said, noting
that regional federations and coaches and players from all over
Spain and from every level of soccer had taken part.
The former Athletic Bilbao and Spain player, who is seen as
a possible future president of UEFA or FIFA, did not address the
Platini made a brief speech in Spanish in which he said he
was "proud and happy" to be present at the election and that the
global football community needed people like Villar.
Del Rio, who has said he would have stood against Villar
given the chance, was quoted as saying in local media on
Thursday that there had been "a violation of the rules and a
degree of secrecy" in the electoral process.
"The rules are there to guarantee fairness and transparency,
but in this case the elections have been arranged in a murky
atmosphere," he added.
"Something must be wrong when the elections are called under
these conditions. They must be trying to hide something. If not,
this is not a reasonable way to behave."
Manos Limpias (Clean Hands), an organisation dedicated to
fighting corruption, filed a complaint against the election in a
Madrid court on Wednesday alleging Villar had conspired with a
former government official to "rig" the vote.
"A clean electoral process requires the scrupulous
application of the rules of the democratic process and respect
for the law and the rule of law," the organisation said on their
The professional football league (LFP) and the national
coaches' association (ANEF) had also expressed concern about the
election, sports daily Marca and other media reported.
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