By JOSEPH WILSON
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spain’s administrative court for sport has initiated disciplinary procedures against Spanish football federation president and FIFA vice president Angel Maria Villar after he was arrested and jailed in a corruption probe.
The opening of the disciplinary procedure on Monday clears the way for Spain’s sports authority, the Higher Council of Sport, to rule whether it will temporarily suspend Villar. The Council is expected to meet on Tuesday.
The court’s decision had been expected since Thursday, when the Higher Council of Sport asked the court to act against Villar following his arrest.
Villar, his son Gorka, federation vice president Juan Padron, and Ramon Hernandez, the secretary of the regional football federation of Tenerife, were arrested last Tuesday when police raided the national federation’s headquarters and other properties.
The four were arrested on charges of improper management, misappropriation of funds, corruption and falsifying documents.
National Court judge Santiago Pedraz ordered last week that the Villars and Padron remain in jail without bail after questioning them. Hernandez’s bail was set at 100,000 euros ($116,000).
The elder Villar is FIFA’s senior vice president and also a vice president of UEFA. As president of the Spanish federation since 1988, he was in charge when the country won the 2010 World Cup and European Championships in 2008 and 2012.
Judge Pedraz said the 67-year-old Villar is suspected of misappropriating private and public funds received by the federation “at least since 2009.”