Sports council demands soccer federation "obey law" on election
The Supreme Sports Council (CSD) will not tolerate the decision taken by the Spanish Soccer Federation (RFEF) to not hold early elections for its president.5 March 2008
MADRID - Secretary of State for Sports Jaime Lissavetzky yesterday said the Supreme Sports Council (CSD) would not tolerate the decision taken by the Spanish Soccer Federation (RFEF) to not hold early elections for its president in accordance with the government's December order, which was upheld by a Spanish judge last week.
Lissavetzky warned that the modification of the RFEF election law, which was approved by a 115 to 23 vote at the soccer federation's Monday meeting, amounted to a "flagrant violation of the law that the CSD cannot accept" and would have to be reversed.
On Monday, the RFEF general assembly voted to hold the election to choose its next president before 26 November when the current mandate expires, but not before the 31 March date the Spanish government had demanded in December. The order had established that sports federations that had not qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games had to start their electoral process in the first trimester of this year, before 31 March.
The RFEF, in voting to disobey the government order, cited the fact that Spanish soccer teams could face retribution from soccer's governing body, FIFA, if they did not allow the current federation president Ángel María Villar to serve out his full term, in accordance with FIFA rules.
Previously, FIFA had warned that punishment for early elections could include having Spain barred from the upcoming Euro 2008 tournament and bans on Spanish teams in the Champions League and UEFA Cup competitions.
Lissavetzky, in his statement, warned that the RFEF should not "become an outlet of FIFA."
[Copyright EL PAÍS / KELLY RAMUNDO 2008]