Spain are in danger of being thrown out of the World Cup on Friday over alleged government interference in its football association.
Fifa wrote to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) warning it would be in breach of the world governing body’s statutes if the Consejo Superior de Deportes (CSD), the Spanish government’s national sports council, forced it to stage a presidential election following the arrest and suspension of Angel Maria Villar Llona.
The letter followed a complaint allegedly lodged by Villar Llona himself, who resigned as the senior vice-president of Fifa and vice-president of Uefa following his arrest in July but who is still de facto president of the RFEF despite pressure from the CSD for the federation to elect a successor.
Fifa confirmed on Friday its letter expressed “concern” about the situation and reminded the RFEF it must manage its own affairs independently of third-party interference.
Any member association which fails to do so can be suspended, causing its national team to be banned from playing.
Spain were previously at risk of being thrown out of the 2008 European Championship – the first of their hat-trick of major tournament triumphs – also over alleged government interference in RFEF electoral business.
Fifa and acting RFEF president Juan Luis Larrea both confirmed on Friday talks would take place over the controversy after Christmas.
Larrea told AS: “The meeting will be informative and, in no case, punitive. No-one is going to take Spain out of the World Cup. It’s impossible and never been talked about. It’s the final straw when people say things like that.
“It won’t happen. What do these people want: that Spain are withdrawn from the tournament so Italy can get in?
“The federation is functioning normally, the national team earned their place on the pitch, and Fifa agree with us on that.”
Villar Llona, who was acting president of Uefa prior to Aleksander Ceferin’s election last year, was arrested in July on charges of corruption over alleged misuse of RFEF finances to help secure his own re-election. He denies any wrongdoing.
Fifa has previously suspended national associations over government interference, last week lifting one such ban on Kuwait.
Meanwhile, Friday also saw its ethics committee ban Brazil’s football federation (CBF) president for 90 days amid an investigation into charges against him in the United States.
Marco Polo Del Nero had previously remained as head of the CBF despite being indicted in 2015 over money laundering allegations.
He appeared at last summer’s Olympics when he welcomed Fifa president Gianni Infantino to the CBF’s offices.
FIFA suspends Moses Magogo for two months
The chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has ratified the plea bargain entered into by Mr Moses Hassim Magogo, President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations and member of the Confederation of African Football Executive Committee, and the chairperson of the investigatory chamber.
An investigation into Mr Magogo was opened on 23 July 2018 related to the resale of 2014 FIFA World Cup tickets.
In accordance with art. 67 par.1 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, the parties have mutually agreed on the following sanctions:
· A fine of CHF 10,000.
· A two-month suspension from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level.
The suspension became effective upon the validation of the agreement by the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber on 10 October 2019.
Cardiff City moves to appeal FIFA ruling over Sala’s transfer payment
Cardiff disclosed on Wednesday they would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against FIFA’s decision to make them pay Nantes the first instalment of the transfer fee for Emiliano Sala.
The world governing body, FIFA this week ordered Cardiff to pay French club Nantes an initial six million euros ($6.5 million) in their dispute over the payment of the transfer fee for Sala, who died in a plane crash.
Cardiff in a statement, said : “There remains clear evidence that the transfer agreement was never completed in accordance with multiple contractual requirements which were requested by Nantes, thereby rendering it null and void”.
“We shall be appealing to CAS in order to seek a decision which considers all of the relevant contractual information and provides clarity on the full legal situation between our two clubs.”
Ex- Manchester United striker, Berbatov retires
Former Manchester United and Tottenham striker, Dimitar Berbatov, has announced his retirement from football.
This is coming 18 months after leaving India’s Kerala Blasters, bringing an end to a glittering 20-year career.
The 38-year-old, Bulgaria’s record goalscorer, also played for CSKA Sofia; Bayer Leverkusen; Fulham; Monaco; and Greek side PAOK.
He has been without a club since leaving India’s Kerala Blasters 18 months ago.
“Someone told me I need to say something, and seeing that people were asking me, especially back home, I need to give a farewell message,” Berbatov wrote on Instagram.
“My last game was more then one year ago, so I think it’s the right time now to stop, and it’s long overdue.”
The Hotspur striker, who won two Premier League titles with Manchester United and was named Bulgaria’s Footballer of the Year seven times between 2004 and 2010, added that he planned to remain in soccer in some capacity.
“When I think about it, it’s never the end, because I will stay in the game one way or another,” he said.
Berbatov joined Manchester United from Tottenham in 2008 for what was then a club record fee of 30.75 million pounds (38.38 million dollars) .
He made his Bulgaria debut in 1999, aged 18, but retired from international football in 2010 after scoring 48 goals in 79 matches.
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