Spanish official wants Villar statement on FIFA corruption

Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:27pm EDT
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MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government's most senior sports official has urged soccer federation (RFEF) president Angel Maria Villar to make clear whether he was aware of any wrongdoing at world governing body FIFA.

Villar is a vice president of FIFA and has been a member of its executive committee since 1998. He is also a vice president of European governing body UEFA and joined its executive committee in 1992.

The 65-year-old former Athletic Bilbao and Spain player is seen as close to FIFA's Swiss president Sepp Blatter, who has been at the center of a corruption scandal prompted by U.S. and Swiss investigations.

Both Blatter and his UEFA counterpart Michel Platini, a Frenchman, have been provisionally suspended for 90 days by FIFA's Ethics Committee.

The suspensions followed reports of a payment of about $2 million from FIFA to Platini in 2011, nine years after he completed a spell working for Blatter as an adviser. Blatter and Platini deny wrongdoing.

Miguel Cardenal, the president of Spain's sports council (CSD), told Spanish television broadcaster Telemadrid on Wednesday Villar should state what he knew.

"It's something he needs to explain himself, nobody can give an opinion in his name," Cardenal said when asked if Villar was aware of any corruption at FIFA. "And I think it would be a good thing if he did so."

Many people had questions about Villar's position, he said.

"In the past he has made statements supporting his fellow members of the (FIFA) executive committee, assuring that there was no doubt about their honor.   Continued...

The FIFA logo is seen outside their headquarters in Zurich October 8, 2015.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann