Madrid, July 20 (IANS) The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have confirmed that the draw for the 2017-18 season will take place on Friday despite the arrest of RFEF President Angel Maria Villar on corruption charges.
Villar, who has been RFEF President since 1988 and was only recently re-elected for an eighth term, was detained along with his con ‘Gorka’ and other RFEF officials as part of an anti-corruption operation known as ‘Operation Soule’ on charges of using the organisation of friendly matches involving the Spanish national side for personal gain, reports Xinhua news agency.
The arrests caused the postponement of the first meeting of Villar’s Board of Directors which was scheduled for Thursday, ahead of the draw for the 2017-18 league calendar for the Liga Santander and the Liga 1,2,3 (Spanish Second Division).
Wednesday saw rumours that the draw would be postponed to the coming week, but the RFEF confirmed late on Wednesday night that it will now be held at 12.30 on Friday, just 24 hours later than was originally planned.
The new league season is due to kick off on the weekend of August 19 and any further delay would have made it difficult for fans to attend matches, which for the opening two rounds of the games, will be played at later than usual times because of the expected high temperatures.
Many in Spain already consider that the draw for the new campaign is being held much too late as it is, pointing out that the time and date of fixtures in the English Premier League (EPL) between the start of the English season and Christmas were already known over a month ago.