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Spanish Football Federation President Angel Maria Villar Llona and his son have been held as part of a corruption investigation, police in Spain say.

Angel María Villar Llona, a former soccer player, was arrested on suspicion of embezzling funds, El Pais and Efe news agency reported.

He has been president of the association since 1988.

His son, Gorka Villar, was among a number of other people also arrested during a number of raids on July 18.

Spain’s High Court told Reuters that one of its investigating magistrates and anti-corruption prosecutors were leading the probe.

Spanish media report that the allegations centre on the falsification of documents and skimming profits from international soccer matches.

Image source Wikimedia

There has been no comment yet from Angel María Villar, 67, or his lawyers.

In his time as president of the federation, Spain’s men’s soccer team has won two European championships as well as the 2010 World Cup, becoming one of soccer’s dominant forces.

Angel María Villar has also served on the council of soccer’s world governing body FIFA for the past 29 years, but was reprimanded by FIFA for failing to comply with its internal inquiry into the 2018/22 World Cup bidding process.

He was acting president of UEFA, Europe’s soccer association, while its chief Michel Platini was under investigation. He lost out on the presidency in an election last year.

UEFA and FIFA said they were aware of the reports.

Gorka Villar served as the director-general of the South American soccer confederation CONMEBOL before standing down last year.

Before standing down, Gorka Villar had been accused of extortion by a number of Uruguayan soccer clubs.

France has released a mobile phone app to alert the public in the event of a terrorist attack ahead of the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, which starts on June 10.

The app will alert geo-located users “in case of a suspected attack”, the French interior ministry said in a statement.

The government said the app was developed after November’s attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.

Users will be able to sign up to receive alerts in up to eight different “geographical zones” in addition to their present location.Euro 2016 terror alert app

Alerts will offer a brief description of what has happened as well as advice on how to stay safe.

They will not cause the phone to vibrate or emit any sound in order to ensure that anyone hiding at the site of an attack does not alert the attackers, Metro News reported.

The government has stressed that users’ privacy will be protected.

Later versions of the app will also alert users to other types of emergencies beyond attacks, including floods and industrial accidents, officials said.

The app is available to download for phones running both iOS and Android operating systems.

UEFA offices have been searched by Swiss police.

It follows the naming of ex-secretary general Gianni Infantino – now president of world soccer’s governing body FIFA – in papers leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Meanwhile, a FIFA official also named in the papers – Juan Pedro Damiani – has resigned.

Gianni Infantino has denied wrongdoing while the European soccer’s governing body says it is helping police.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

While working for UEFA, Ganni Infantino co-signed a TV rights deal in 2006 with two businessmen who have since been accused by the FBI of bribery.

Cross Trading – owned by Hugo Jinkis and his son Mariano – bought TV rights for UEFA Champions League football in 2006 for $111,000 and immediately sold them to Ecuadorian broadcaster Teleamazonas for $311,170.

The company also paid $28,000 for the rights to the UEFA Super Cup, selling those to Teleamazonas for $126,200.

The contract came to light after 11 million documents were leaked from Mossack Fonseca.

A statement from Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said a “co-operative search” of the Nyon building took place “for the purpose of securing evidence”.

It said its criminal proceedings were connected to the acquisition of television rights and were “directed against persons unknown, meaning that for the time being, no specific individual is being targeted”.

The statement added: “The suspicion is based on the result of findings that have emerged from other proceedings, as well as the corresponding financial analyses carried out by the OAG.

“Current publications in the media subsequently revealed still other elements that made it possible to complement the existing findings in a decisive manner.

“The final impetus was provided, in particular, by confirmation on the part of UEFA that it had concluded contracts with Cross Trading SA.”


Sepp Blatter has revealed he had a “gentleman’s agreement” with Michel Platini over the 2 million euro payment he made to the UEFA president in 2011.

The 79-year-old FIFA president faces a criminal investigation over the payment, made nine years after Michel Platini, 60, carried out consultation work for the Swiss.

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini deny any wrongdoing.

“It was a contract I had with Michel Platini, a gentleman’s agreement that was followed through on,” Sepp Blatter told Swiss broadcaster RROTV.

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has imposed a 90-day suspension on Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini while corruption claims concerning the payment are investigated.Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter FIFA corruption scandal

Former France international captain and coach Michel Platini says the money was an unpaid additional salary due from the time he served as Sepp Blatter’s advisor between 1998 and 2002.

Following a UEFA meeting on October 15, the Football Association (FA) suspended its support for Michel Platini’s bid to become FIFA president “until the legal process has been concluded and the position is clear”.

UEFA issued a statement saying Micehl Platini should be given the opportunity “to clear his name” and urged the FIFA ethics committee to conclude its investigation by mid-November.

The FIFA presidential election is scheduled to take place on February 26, 2016.

Meanwhile, FIFA says it will investigate “very serious allegations” that a 6.7 million euro payment was made to it by Germany’s 2006 World Cup organizing committee.

The bid, led by former World Cup-winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer, edged out favorites South Africa in the July 2000 vote to win the hosting rights for the 2006 tournament.

FIFA said the allegations would be reviewed “as part of the independent internal investigation currently being conducted by FIFA under the direction of its legal director with the assistance of outside counsel”.

Germany’s Football Association is also investigating the payment, saying it had found no indication of wrongdoing in the overall bid process but that the payment “may potentially not have been used for the intended purpose”.


Soccer’s governing body chief Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini are facing an investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee.

The move comes after the Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against 79-yar-old Sepp Blatter.

Sepp Blatter is accused of signing a contract “unfavorable” to FIFA and making a “disloyal payment” to UEFA President Michel Platini, 60.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

The FIFA president denies wrongdoing and his lawyer says he is co-operating fully.

The ethics committee is looking into the circumstances of a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.2 million) that Michel Platini received in 2011 for work said to have been carried out more than nine years previously, reported the Press Association.

Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings against Sepp Blatter on September 25.

Michel Platini – who worked as Sepp Blatter’s technical advisor between 1999 and 2002 – was interviewed as a witness by officers from the attorney general’s office.

Michel Platini is yet to explain the nine-year delay in payment but he too denies any wrongdoing.


A FIFA taskforce has recommended the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should take place in November and December.

Key football officials met in Doha to discuss a number of options following fears a summer event would endanger the health of players and fans.

Summer temperatures in Qatar can exceed 40C (104F) while those in November and December drop to around 25C (77F).

Today’s recommendation is expected to be ratified by FIFA’s executive committee in Zurich on March 19 and 20.

Taskforce chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa also recommended that the 2022 tournament should be shortened by a few days.

There has already been speculation that the tournament could start on November 26 and end on December 23.

However, FIFA has already said there are no plans to reduce the size of the tournament from 32 teams or 64 matches.

The other dates under consideration were May and January-February.

In a statement, FIFA said a number of options had been discussed but felt that November-December was the best one because:

  • A January-February tournament would clash with Winter Olympics
  • The month of Ramadan begins on April 2 in 2022
  • Hot conditions prevail from May to September in Qatar

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said there were “pros and cons” for all options but said the “one solution” was November and December.World Cup 2022 Qatar

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa added: “We are very pleased that, after careful consideration of the various opinions and detailed discussions with all stakeholders, we have identified what we believe to be the best solution for the 2018-2024 international match calendar and football in general.

“It was a challenging task and I want to thank all members of the football community for their productive input and constructiveness in helping to find a solution that we believe can work for everyone.”

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said moving the World Cup to the winter was a “common sense” decision but that a final on December 23 would be too close to Christmas and the traditional festive matches.

He said a tournament in November and December would “cause a lot of disruption” but added: “It is eight years away and people should have enough time to make it work.”

Many of Europe’s top leagues wanted an April-May solution to minimize disruption to their domestic programs.

There is also the Champions League and Europa League to consider, with group games usually taking place in November and December.

However, European governing body UEFA came out in support of the taskforce recommendation.

It issued a statement insisting it “sees no major issues in rescheduling its competitions for the 2022/23 season”.

African officials agree with the taskforce’s recommendation, despite the fact they will almost certainly have to move the 2023 African Cup of Nations from its January-February slot.

Confederation of African Football’s director of communications Junior Binyam said it was backing the proposal “100%”.

As for North America, the Major League Soccer season in the United States will be unaffected given it runs from March until the end of October.

Average temperatures in November are around 29C (84F), dropping to around 25C (77F) by mid-December, slightly cooler than the 35C (95F) averages in May.

Tournament organizers had planned to use air-cooling technology they claimed would lower temperatures within grounds to about 23C (73F).

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UEFA has decided to open disciplinary proceedings against CSKA Moscow for the “racist behavior of their fans” during their home Champions League match against Manchester City.

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure said he was subjected to racist chanting during his team’s 2-1 win in Moscow on Wednesday.

The European governing body says the case will be dealt with by its disciplinary board on 30 October.

CSKA Moscow considers the racism allegations to be “unfounded”.

Manchester City said on Thursday that they had submitted a formal written complaint to UEFA, which is also looking into the setting off of fireworks by home supporters during the match in the Russian capital.

In May, UEFA announced that in the case of racist incidents involving spectators, a partial stadium closure would be applied for the first offence and a full stadium closure for a second, coupled with a fine of 50,000 euros.

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure said he was subjected to racist chanting during his team's 2-1 win in Moscow

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure said he was subjected to racist chanting during his team’s 2-1 win in Moscow

CSKA’s next home game in the Champions League is against Bayern Munich on November 27, before which they visit Manchester City on November 5.

Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure said he was “furious” and reported the chants to the referee during the game and afterwards.

But CSKA are “surprised and disappointed” by Yaya Toure’s claims.

A club statement read: “Having carefully studied the video of the game, we found no racist insults from fans of CSKA.”

Lord Ouseley, chairman of anti-discrimination body Kick It Out, said the latest incident would “test” Uefa’s new sanctions.

He added referee Ovidiu Hategan should not officiate again after failing to follow protocol when Toure reported the incidents to him.

Under guidelines issued by UEFA in 2009, referees have the power to tackle racist chanting from supporters in a number of ways.

As a first step, they can stop a match and ask for warnings to be made over the public address system.

The second step is to suspend a match for a short time. If the abuse continues, a match can be abandoned.

Romanian official Ovidiu Hategan, a FIFA referee since 2008, was also in charge when Lazio fans were found guilty of racist behavior towards Tottenham players in the Europa League last season.

FIFPro, the global union for professional footballers, is “disappointed” match officials failed to act.

Sir Ouseley said if players are not adequately protected, more could walk off the pitch during a game, as former AC Milan player Kevin Prince-Boateng did during a friendly last season.

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UEFA has rejected The Independent on Sunday claim that it wants to revamp the European Championship to rival the World Cup.

The newspaper said the European governing body was considering expanding the tournament to include Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Japan.

UEFA has rejected The Independent on Sunday claim that it wants to revamp the European Championship to rival the World Cup

UEFA has rejected The Independent on Sunday claim that it wants to revamp the European Championship to rival the World Cup

A spokesman said: “UEFA is not aware of the plans mentioned in the story.”

The US and Mexico, of North and Central American federation Concacaf, have previously competed in the South American Copa America.

World governing body FIFA could regard a European Championship that recruits nations from outside the continent as a threat to the World Cup, its biggest source of income.

Euro 2016, hosted in France, is set to expand to 24 teams from 16, while in 2020 the tournament will be played across some of Europe’s major cities rather than in one country.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that move could mean the European tournament “lacks heart and soul”.


UEFA gives a suspended six-point deduction to Russia because of the behaviour of their fans during their 4-1 win against Czech Republic at Euro 2012.

Action was taken due to the use of fireworks and far-right banners.

The incident, in which Russian fans attacked stewards, leaving four needing hospital treatment, is being investigated by UEFA and police.

The penalty will apply to the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, and also includes a fine of 120,000 Euros ($147,000).

Russia, who will host the 2018 World Cup, could face further sanctions after their supporters were involved in violence before their game against Poland, which was drawn 1-1, on Tuesday.


UEFA gives a suspended six-point deduction to Russia because of the behaviour of their fans during their 4-1 win against Czech Republic at Euro 2012

UEFA gives a suspended six-point deduction to Russia because of the behaviour of their fans during their 4-1 win against Czech Republic at Euro 2012

A march by thousands of Russian fans to mark their national day had to be halted and some missiles were thrown as supporters clashed with their Polish rivals.

Police say they arrested at least 120 people and that 10 people were injured.

Inside the ground, Russian fans also displayed a provocative banner.


UEFA has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the Football Union of Russia for “improper conduct of supporters” during Friday’s Euro 2012 game against the Czech Republic in Wroclaw.

Four stewards needed hospital treatment after being attacked by fans in the Municipal Stadium in Poland.

And claims of racist abuse directed at Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie, who is black, are being investigated.

The Control and Disciplinary Body will review the case on Wednesday, 13 June.

A UEFA statement read: “Having looked at the security reports and available images, UEFA has today announced that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Football Union of Russia [RFS] for the improper conduct of its supporters, the setting off and throwing of fireworks, and the display of illicit banners at Friday’s UEFA match.”

UEFA has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the Football Union of Russia for "improper conduct of supporters" during Friday's Euro 2012 game against the Czech Republic in Wroclaw

UEFA has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the Football Union of Russia for "improper conduct of supporters" during Friday's Euro 2012 game against the Czech Republic in Wroclaw

Anti-racism campaigners claimed Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie was the victim of monkey chants during Russia’s 4-1 victory, while footage seemingly shows Russian supporters attacking stewards in a walkway of the stadium.

The FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) network confirmed one of their observers at the match heard “fleeting” racist abuse of Gebre Selassie.

Asked if it included monkey chants, FARE chief executive Piara Powar said: “Our observer reported descriptions of that nature.

“It was directed at the Czech Republic’s only black player,” Piara Powar added.

Footage of the incident involving the stewards has emerged online, with UEFA releasing a statement saying they are aware of “a brief and isolated incident involving a small group of around 30 fans who attacked a handful of stewards”.

The statement continued: “The situation was quickly and efficiently brought under control. The local police are aware of the incident and investigating.

“The cause of the incident is not currently known but we are studying the security reports and available images. UEFA remains entirely committed to the safety and security of all fans and spectators at all matches of Euro 2012.”

The tournament has already been beset with problems of racism, with UEFA confirming on Friday there were “isolated incidents of racist chanting” aimed at Netherlands players during an open training session.

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UEFA has confirmed that yellow cards rules used by the Champions League will not be changed for at least three years.

Seven players are suspended for the Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich final after six were cautioned in the semi-finals.

The rules are different for Euro 2012 when UEFA will wipe the slate clean for yellow cards after the quarter-finals.

A UEFA spokesman said: “Different rules can apply in different competitions. The rules are a result of careful, democratic procedure.”

UEFA has confirmed that yellow cards rules used by the Champions League will not be changed for at least three years

UEFA has confirmed that yellow cards rules used by the Champions League will not be changed for at least three years

International players’ union FIFPro had made a plea for the six players who are suspended to be allowed to play, which was rejected.

Chelsea’s captain John Terry will also be suspended after being sent off against Barcelona in the semi-final second leg at the Nou Camp.

Michael van Praag, head of UEFA’s Champions League Rules group, was quoted on FIFPro’s website saying: “We have just had three sessions with representatives of the European Clubs’ Association and others, in which we confirmed the rule for the coming three years.

“We did not receive any request whatsoever concerning the yellow card rule, not even from the representative of Bayern Munich. And so we will be continuing the rule for the next three years.”

Before that announcement, Simon Barker – a spokesman for FIFPro – had said: “Anybody committing a serious offence in the semi-final should be awarded a red card and miss the final, but the offences that result in a yellow card do not justify the serious punishment of missing the match of your life.

“Some people say this will give players the licence to kick all and sundry during the semi-final, but that is utter nonsense.

“Any serious offence will result in a red card and that still means exclusion from the final.”

At Euro 2012, only players sent off in the quarter-final or semi-final will be banned from the final in Kiev.


Michel Platini, the president of UEFA, has hit out at “bandits and crooks” for the escalation of Ukrainian hotel prices ahead of the Euro 2012 football championships.

Speaking in Lviv, one of the venues, Michel Platini said the rising cost of accommodation worried him, and called on the authorities to prevent it.

Michel Platini added that some hotels were not respecting room contracts which had already been agreed.

In response, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister pledged to take action.

Speaking alongside Michel Platini, Borys Kolesnikov said he would take appropriate measures within the next 30 days to solve the problem.

Michel Platini has hit out at "bandits and crooks" for the escalation of Ukrainian hotel prices ahead of the Euro 2012

Michel Platini has hit out at "bandits and crooks" for the escalation of Ukrainian hotel prices ahead of the Euro 2012

“It’s annoying to have made a lot of investment and then say to people that they can’t come because there are bandits and crooks who want to make a lot of money during this Euro,” Michel Platini said.

“You can’t change [the price of a room] from 40 Euros [$52] to 100 and then up to 500 just like that, from one day to the other, this just is not done,” Michel Platini said.

Michel Platini is due to open a new airport terminal in the city later with President Viktor Yanukovych.

Euro 2012 championships, which are being held in Ukrainian and Polish cities, begin on 8 June.