MADRID: Javier Tebas has suggested that Angel Maria Villar should quit as president of the Spanish football federation after the latter’s strategy in the TV rights battle collapsed writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Football will now go ahead this weekend in Spain with the probability that Barcelona will regain the league title with one round of matches remaining.
Villar, long-serving vice-president of world federation FIFA and European authority UEFA, had relied on a strike call by the players’ union to underpin his order for a domestic football shutdown from this weekend.
At issue was a law underpinning a decision by the clubs of the top two divisions that television rights to league games should be sold in centralised packages from next year.
Villar ordered the shutdown on the basis that the law contravened national and international statutes barring political interference in football administration. He was supported by world federation FIFA and its secretary-general, Jerome Valcke.
However Villar and the federation were left exposed after a Spanish court today declared, provisionally, that the proposed players’ strike was illegal.
Tebas, president of the Spanish league, responded by turning his wrath not so much on weakened players’ leader Luis Rubiales but on Villar, as the man pulling the AFE’s strings.
“The president of the federation is behind all this,” said Tebas. “He sits up in his feudal castle and opened a window to throw down a piece of paper, nothing more.
“We, the league, are a part of the federarion and we think, in the circumstances, that he should go – but he won’t because he’s been there for 26 years and he is not going to change now.”
This may not be the end of the matter. It now remains highly likely that FIFA, at Villar’s instigation, may firm up on an earlier threat to take disciplinary action against the Spanish game over the new law. Sanctions could include suspending Spanish teams from international competitions at club and national team level.