As I write this post, the former president of FC Barcelona Sandro Rosell and the still current president of the Spanish soccer federation and influential official in the governing bodies of global soccer Angel M. Villar, are in jail. They will be there awaiting trial because judges believe there is significant risk that they will destroy evidence or try to evade justice. It seems therefore that high level corruption is not limited to FIFA, although both Mr Rosell and Mr Villar were very active in the links and transactions of global sports corruption. The last episode has been the arrest of the president of the Spanish federation, who has been in that job for 30 years. He was the "Spanish Blatter" and his method of operation was the same, showing like in the case of Rosell that success and growth are not incompatible with corruption. In fact, unless proper accountability is in place, they may be highly correlated:
"Authorities also believe Ángel María Villar
may have used federation funds to pay off regional soccer chiefs in a
bid to maintain control at the top of the powerful federation. Villar
was returned to office for a new four-year term in May, the eighth such
occasion on which he has seen his contract renewed.
The courts are now investigating the soccer chief and other detainees for crimes including corruption,
embezzlement, improper management and possible asset stripping in
relation to a range of possible fraudulent activities. The amount of
money involved is not known. (...) But those prosecutors were not just looking at possible fraud related to
€1.2 million subsidies for soccer in poor countries. In fact, they were
also investigating a range of more serious crimes on behalf of Spain’s
High Court, and it was on the orders of this higher court that Villar’s
phone calls were being bugged."
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