Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

FIFA Says Spain Could Miss 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation

FIFA Says Spain Could Miss 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation

The issue centres on the RFEF presidency.

The RFEF is now led by Juan Luis Larrea on an interim basis, after former president Angel Maria Villar was made to step down on corruption charges. Villar was replaced, on an interim basis, by Juan Luis Larrea, another long-time football administrator.

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.

Were Spain to have their Federation Internationale de Football Association membership suspended as a result of this, the national team could take no part in any officially recognised worldwide matches, friendly or competitive.

Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy said he was not concerned by the suggestion his country would be barred from competing in the World Cup.

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"Fifa is in contact with the RFEF, and a joint Fifa-Uefa delegation will be sent to Madrid shortly to monitor and assess the situation in the association", the statement continued.

The federation said in a separate statement that its interim president, Juan Luis Larrea, had spoken with FIFA and UEFA officials at the World Cup draw on December 1 and that he had passed on their "enormous concern" to Spain's minister of education, culture and sport.

"I just can't see that scenario", Rajoy said at a press conference in Brussels.

Spain's possible exclusion from the tournament comes just weeks after Italy, who have been knocked out of the World Cup, may yet find themselves taking part in Russian Federation, next summer.

Rajoy said Spain's sports minister had told him the Spanish authorities had "received no official communication from Federation Internationale de Football Association but only a letter from a member of Federation Internationale de Football Association requesting a meeting". That motion is scheduled for a vote on January 16.

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