Official statement from Villar
The Spanish Football Federation has published an official statement from the Spanish Federation president, dropping out of the race for the UEFA presidency.
Villar drops out of UEFA presidential race
The Spanish football federation has issued a press release in which Ángel María Villar formally drops out of the race to become UEFA president.
The current president of the Spanish football federation doesn't explicitly say why he's dropping out, but hints it's because many people in Spain have asked him to focus on his work as president of the Spanish federation. Whilst this may be true, he doesn't mention that he's been struggling to garner support from the European football federations, with many of the bigger countries having already indicated they will back Slovenian candidate Alekxander Ceferin.
Here's Villar's statement in full:
Last Friday 2 September, UEFA informed all of its member associations that the three candidates to its Presidency had successfully passed the required eligibility checks carried out by the FIFA Review Committee prior to holding the elections for this position. This is great news for UEFA. As far as it personally concerns me, it irrefutably confirms my ethical aptitude and integrity to continue carrying out my functions as a member of the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, despite some public opinions that had put it into question over the last few months.
From October 2015, in view of the events that took place, and as a matter of personal responsibility, I took over the functions of the UEFA President. It is with great satisfaction that I have carried out this task, even in difficult times, representing and working for UEFA in a large number of events during this period, placing the good of the organization before any personal electoral interest. Due to their importance, I would like to highlight the following: the UEFA Extraordinary Congress in Zurich on 25 February, the UEFA Ordinary Congress in Budapest last 3 May, the different meetings of its Executive Committee which I have chaired, the finals of the Champions League and Europa League in Milan and Basel, EURO 2016 in France, and last August’s meeting in Monaco to redefine the new format of the Champions League. I take the opportunity to thank the national associations, members of the Executive Committee and the UEFA Administration for providing me with their invaluable assistance and trust throughout this period.
Last 19 July, I submitted my candidature for the UEFA Presidency with an ambitious programme focused on making football the main focus of our organization. While I have received a great amount of support since then to continue my campaign, after a profound reflection I have decided to withdraw my bid. There have been many representatives of Spanish football who have made their voices heard and asked me to continue working for my country’s football by submitting a new bid in the next months for my reelection as President of RFEF, to whom I have dedicated most of my life as an official.
I believe that UEFA, as the organization that unites all European Football, is in a position to reach great goals in the future.
I want to finish by wishing the two candidates the best of luck and thanking all of those who have supported me during all of this time, and reassert my commitment to continue working for European and worldwide football from my positions as a Vicepresident of the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee.
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