MADRID: Angel Maria Villar, controversial president of the Spanish football federation, has said he intends to stand next year for an eighth term in office writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Villar remains the master of sports politics in Spanish football despite losing a battle with the league over TV rights and being considered in the world game as a firm ally of beleagured FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

The former Spain and Athletic Bilbao midfielder has held the balance of power back home with support from the grassroots game and because, as a Basque, he is aligned with neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona.

Blatter, outgoing FIFA president, has lately announced his conversion to term limits for officials; the Spaniard is a long-serving vice-president of both FIFA and the European federation UEFA.

Villar, who is thought to be under investigation by FIFA’s ethics chamber over his leadership of the Spain/Portugal World Cup bid, confirmed his intention during an RFEFE meeting at Las Rozas. He became president in 1988 in succession to Jose Luis Roca nd was re-elected in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Enemies under fire

In a 15-minute address Villar laid into “those who have caused enormous damage difficult to the federation” by which he was assumed to have meant Sports Council chairman Miguel Cardenal, ex-Sports Minister Jose Ignacio Wert and Javer Tebas, the league president.

He concluded: “Finally, many have asked me to stand again and I will do it.”

Tebas recently defied Villar to confirm the change to central sale of league TV rights. Villar had to back down after trying in vain to order a halt to all Spanish domestic football.

He and the federation then fell into further controversy over the allegedly sexist treatment of the Spanish women’s national team by coach Ignacio Quereda which prompted a squad demand for his dismissal.

Villar said: “This has been the year of women’s football. Despite what we have heard, it has been the best year in the history of our women’s football in the historical first qualification of the squad for the Women’s World Cup.

“I want to acknowledge the leadership work of Don IƱaki Quereda.”

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