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RFEF defends election process in face of charges of corruption

Angel Maria Villar is the current president of Spain's football federation.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) insisted on Thursday it has acted with "transparency" and "honesty" throughout the electoral process of its general assembly members amidst accusations suggesting otherwise.

Jorge Perez, who is challenging his former boss, Angel Maria Villar, for the RFEF presidency, said earlier on Thursday that he had requested of the Spanish government's Sports Council (CSD) and its Sports Tribunal (TAD) to annul the election of the RFEF general assembly members due to irregularities in the process.

Perez has called for a new vote to take place.

Members of the general assembly are supposed to vote on May 22 to elect the next president of the RFEF.

"The irregularities are flagrant, blatant and we want the CSD, as it is its duty, to intervene," said Perez, who was dismissed by Villar as RFEF secretary general on Oct. 11, as reported in El Pais. "We request that the process be deemed null and to be repeated.

"I'm still a candidate, but I don't recognise the result of these elections [to the general assembly]."

According to Perez, during the voting for general assembly members which took place on April 27, 973 votes were not counted, 20 percent of the total, while 500 were despite being presented after the deadline of April 20.

"We don't know what happened to those [973] votes," Perez said. "On the 27th [April], we saw a lot of irregularities."

Perez is not the only one to have accused the RFEF of irregularities as La Liga president Javier Tebas recently stated that the electoral process was "clearly contaminated."

Villar has been at the helm of the Spanish FA since 1988 and is running for an eighth successive term after failing in his bid to become UEFA president in September.

A statement from the RFEF said: "The Spanish Football Federation in view of the grave accusations issued publicly today and in recent weeks regarding the electoral process of the Federation manifests: RFEF categorically states that the process has been done following the electoral rules and the Ministerial Elections decree of Dec. 18 as the (Spanish government's) TAD has so far backed up. The process has been done with absolute honesty and transparency from the RFEF and all of departments and people who are part of it.

"The accusations that have been expressed are completely untrue and biased.

"We asked those people that have made those accusations and others that may do in the future, to provide proof or on the contrary, the RFEF will exercise all the legal actions to repair the damage that may be caused by those.

"The RFEF calls for a General Assembly on May 22."

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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