Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Angel Maria Villar, his son Gorka and several other officials have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged corruption, Spanish police have said.
A former Spain international, Angel Maria Villar has run Spanish football for 29 years and is also a senior vice-president at world governing body FIFA and European confederation UEFA.
In a statement on the Spanish Civil Guard’s website, the police said the two Villars, RFEF vice-president Juan Padron and two senior officials from Tenerife have been arrested on suspicion of falsifying documents, misappropriation of funds and other fraudulent activity.
The investigation, which started following a complaint in early 2016, is being led by one of Spain’s most high-profile anti-corruption judges Santiago Pedraz.
One of the most powerful men in world football, Angel Maria Villar has been a UEFA vice-president since 1992 – and was acting president for nearly a year after Michel Platini’s 2015 suspension – and a FIFA vice-president since 2002.
Notoriously combative, he also led Spain and Portugal’s joint bid for the 2018 World Cup but was fined £20,000 by FIFA’s ethics committee for failing to cooperate with the independent investigation into the 2018 and 2022 bidding races. He was elected for an eighth term as RFEF president in May 2016.
Gorka Villar stood down as director general of South American confederation CONMEBOL last year.
There has been no comment so far from the RFEF or the Villars, while FIFA and UEFA said they were aware of the situation but had no further comment to make at this point.
A spokesperson for FIFA added: “As the matter seems to be linked to internal affairs of the Spanish Football Association, for the time being we kindly refer you to them for further details.”