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Spanish chief Villar to seek re-election if UEFA bid fails

UEFA Acting President Angel Maria Villar Llona of Spain listens during the Conmebol Extraordinary Congress as part of the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, Mexico, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero/Files
UEFA Acting President Angel Maria Villar Llona of Spain listens during the Conmebol Extraordinary Congress as part of the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, Mexico, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero/Files

By Richard Martin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Angel Maria Villar said he plans to seek re-election to his country's governing body later this year if he fails in a bid to become UEFA president.

Villar has been acting head of the European soccer federation since October 2015, when Michel Platini was suspended from all football-related activities for six years - later reduced to four - for ethics violations.

Last week the Spaniard announced his intention to stand in the UEFA elections on September 14 to replace Platini. Slovenian Aleksandar Ceferin and Dutchman Michael van Praag will also contest the presidency.

"I'm standing for UEFA president because the majority of the European federations have asked me to," Villar, who has been president of the RFEF since 1988, said on Tuesday following a meeting with referees.

"If I don't win or I pull out, which I don't believe will happen, I will stand for re-election of the RFEF."

RFEF general secretary Jorge Perez is among other candidates

for the Spanish vote, which is expected to take place after the UEFA election.

Villar, also a FIFA vice-president, was fined 25,000 Swiss francs by FIFA's Ethics Committee in 2015 for failing to cooperate with their investigation into the contests to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Villar said he was confident of winning the UEFA election.

"I have taken this step (to run) because I have sufficient support to win," he said.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Pritha Sarkar and John Stonestreet)

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