Spanish football federation chief Villar to seek re-election if UEFA bid fails

Villar has been acting head of the European soccer federation since October 2015. In photo: Angel Maria Villar addresses the UEFA Euro 2016 closing press conference at Stade de France on July 8, 2016. Photograph:( Getty )

Reuters Barcelona, Spain Jul 26, 2016, 02.46 PM (IST)
Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Angel Maria Villar said he plans to seek re-election to his country's governing body later this year if he fails in a bid to become UEFA president.

Villar has been acting head of the European soccer federation since October 2015, when Michel Platini was suspended from all football-related activities for six years, later reduced to four, for ethics violations.

Last week the Spaniard announced his intention to stand in the UEFA elections on September 14 to replace Platini. Slovenian Aleksandar Ceferin and Dutchman Michael van Praag will also contest the presidency.

"I'm standing for UEFA president because the majority of the European federations have asked me to," Villar, who has been president of the RFEF since 1988, said today following a meeting with referees. "If I don't win or I pull out, which I don't believe will happen, I will stand for re-election of the RFEF."

RFEF general secretary Jorge Perez is among other candidates for the Spanish vote, which is expected to take place after the UEFA election.

Villar, also a FIFA vice-president, was fined 25,000 Swiss francs by FIFA's Ethics Committee in 2015 for failing to cooperate with their investigation into the contests to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Villar said he was confident of winning the UEFA election. "I have taken this step (to run) because I have sufficient support to win," he said.