FIFA delegation shares independence concerns with Spanish officials
MADRID — A FIFA delegation led by secretary general Fatma Samoura met with Spanish officials on Monday to discuss concerns about government meddling in the local football federation.
FIFA sent a letter last year reminding Spanish football officials that all member federations must manage their affairs independently and without interference from third parties. The warning reportedly came because of the government’s push to hold elections following the arrest of federation president Angel Maria Villar on suspicion of corruption.
Among those participating in Monday’s meeting were Jose Ramon Lete, the president of Spain’s Higher Council of Sports; Inigo Mendez de Vigo, Spain’s minister for education, culture and sports; and Juan Luis Larrea, who is currently in charge of the football federation.
Officials did not immediately release detailed information about what was discussed. FIFA has said it wanted to travel to Madrid to “observe and analyze the situation” of the local federation.
Spanish police arrested Villar, his son and two other soccer officials in July on suspicion of improper management, misappropriation of funds, corruption and falsifying documents.
A suspension of the Spanish federation could potentially lead to the national team’s exclusion from the World Cup in Russia.