Head of Spain's football federation arrested in police anti-corruption probe

Joe Hall
Follow Joe
Villar was arrested in a dawn raid (Source: Getty)

The president of Spain's football association and his son have been held by police as part of a probe into corruption in football.

Angel Maria Villar Llona, who is also a vice-president of Fifa and Uefa, is reported to have been arrested on suspicion of embezzling funds as police raided offices connected to the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF).

Several other football executives were apprehended on charges of fraud and embezzlement as part of an investigation being led by anti-corruption prosecutors for Spain's High Court.

Villar has been president of RFEF since 1988 and overseen a period of unprecedented success for the national team between 2008 and 2012 when Spain win two European Championships and a first World Cup in 2010.

Read more: What businesses can learn about the need for cultural change, rather than blaming individuals

He has also sat on Fifa's executive committee for over two decades, but was alleged to have been uncooperative with the organisation's internal review into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process, controversially awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

The 62-year-old is one of the 12 of 22 members on the executive committee that voted on the hosting decision who has not been banned from football or indicted by the FBI.

His arrest follows a number of high-profile cases for alleged financial crimes brought against footballers in Spain including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Javier Mascherano.

Related articles