Spain’s football chief Villar to run for UEFA president’s job

Madrid, July 20 (IANS) Spain’s football federation president Angel Maria Villar has decided to run for president of UEFA, European football’s top job.

Villar, who has headed Spain’s federation since 1988 and replaced Michel Platini as UEFA boss when the former France midfield superstar was disqualified to hold the post by FIFA, will stand for UEFA president, the federation declared on Tuesday, reports Efe.

“The president of the Royal Spanish Soccer Federation, Angel Maria Villar, has made official his candidacy for the upcoming elections for the presidency of UEFA,” the federation statement said.

Elections for the EUFA job are due on September 14.

Michel Van Praag from the Netherlands and Aleksander Ceferin of Slovenia had previously expressed their desire to occupy UEFA’s presidential office in based in Nyon, Switzerland.

However, Villar appears to have been encouraged by the backing of some European representatives and as of Friday began saying “it would be honour to take over the post”.

Villar, 67, has occupied several posts in UEFA and FIFA, and has so far not been tainted by the scandal engulfing soccer’s world body.

He was re-elected by the UEFA Congress in 2015 to serve another term as a member of the FIFA Executive _ now called the Council _ and to occupy a vice-chairmanship of FIFA on behalf of European soccer.

He entered the FIFA executive in 1998 and four years later, after the 2002 Korea and Japan World Cup, became a vice-chairman for Europe. He also chairs FIFA’s referees committee as well as its legal and strategic offices.

He has witnessed the most historical moments of Spanish soccer, namely the national squad’s 2010 World Cup and two European Championships in 2008 and 2012 with Luis Aragones and Vicente del Bosque as coaches.

Villar is known to be a tireless worker with a stubborn and hard-headed disposition.

He has also been labelled as elusive and is known for his major disagreements with the La Liga, Spain’s professional league, and the Higher Sports Council.



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