Originally published at ueafawareness.org on June 24, 2015
Miguel Liétard Fernández-Palacios, the young Spanish lawyer is known to be the second disciplinary inspector assigned to Turkish club Fenerbahçe’s case involving match-fixing allegations during the Turkish Superleague in 2010–2011. UEFA Chief Legal Counsel Pierre Cornu from France, who claims to have left the UEFA for personal reasons in June 2012, was known to be somehow involved before David Casserly of Ireland, was assigned as the disciplinary inspector and then mysteriously taken off the case after reporting in June 2012.
This is probably one of the most complicated cases in the UEFA history, a real trouble for UEFA President Michel Platini. The case itself is a brainchild of the disputed Turkish justice system, known to have been severely bent by the government and some religious circles to discard & jail political opponents, where Special Authority Courts have basically destroyed judicial independence and the rule of law. Inadmissible evidence collection techniques, subjective interpretation of evidences collected both by the prosecution and the courts are all part of this ugly game.
Having put this, the UEFA disciplinary bodies, instead of considering all this justice nonsense, now even known & recognized by the European Parliament in the case of jailed journalists, decide to assign the young & inexperienced “Inspector Palacios” to the case and let him base his accusations on the disputed Turkish court decision, where the Turkish Supreme Court has yet to speak the final word.
Intrigued by the “carelessness” of the UEFA, let’s now investigate Miguel Liétard Fernández-Palacios and shed some spotlight on him.
Not counting his internships, this young lawyer has started his career in 2010 at a Spanish law firm called Sport Advisers, specialized in sports, apparently where he still works. In January 2013, with a mere 3 years of professional experience he is surprisingly hired by the UEFA as a disciplinary inspector and has been immediately assigned to the Fenerbahçe case.
[Here we should make note that most members of the UEFA disciplinary boards, be it judges or inspectors are also active lawyers in their professional life, just like Fernández-Palacios. No legal system in the world permits a judge or a prosecutor to keep a side job as a lawyer, whether independent or affiliated to law firm. Severe conflicts of interests may arise. This is wrong.]
The law firm that Fernández-Palacios works, is owned by a well known lawyer, Gorka Villar, known to have represented Alberto Contador at CAS.
Digging a little deeper, we find out that Gorka Villar is indeed the son of Angel Maria Villar, Vice-President of the UEFA and the President of its Referees Committee. The proof of that can be seen in this news article regarding their involvement in a legal case against the Spanish Ministry of Education & Science. At this point one can easily question the sudden hiring of Fernández-Palacios, an inexperienced lawyer working at the UEFA VP’s son’s law firm.
Promoting their very own rookie lawyer to the UEFA disciplinary board, the Villar family might have wanted to pull some strings, when needed.
There is now satisfactory evidence against Fernández-Palacios, as whether he is hired by the UEFA and assigned to this difficult case by merit only.
We know that in professional life, hiring by acquaintance often trumps hiring by merit. But the importance of the Fenerbahçe case, tells us his hiring and his assignment may not be only of acquaintance either.
Is Fernández-Palacios brought to the UEFA for a special reason, is there a hidden agenda behind this? If so, who is really pulling the strings? Villar or someone else? We have to dig deeper.
Surprisingly, Angel Maria Villar, has recently been suggested by the FIFA President Sepp Blatter as a possible rival to Michel Platini for the role of his successor. Blatter, is known to have a public feud with Platini as they have diverging views on 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Besides, a few days earlier to that, in March 15, 2013 Blatter even told BBC Radio that “UEFA has never forgiven me for beating Lennart Johansson to the FIFA Presidency in 1998. UEFA is the only confederation that tries to undermine FIFA”.
It’s been long known that Michel Platini & Angel Maria Villar had a mutual agreement to share future FIFA & UEFA presidencies respectively. This silent pact might have been destroyed in May 24, 2013, when the UEFA Congress overwhelmingly voted in favor of Gibraltar to be the 54th. UEFA country, amidst Spain’s, hence Angel Maria Villar’s strong opposition.
The only countries that voted against Gibraltar were Spain and Belarus. As this was a definitive loss for Angel Maria Villar, he might have concluded that his future UEFA Presidency chance was totally off the table. So to guarantee at least the FIFA Presidency, suggested by Blatter, Villar might have taken take side with him against Platini, on all grounds, as it’s almost official that Blatter doesn’t want Platini anywhere near the FIFA Presidency. Coincidentally, this all happens days before UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Fenerbahçe SK and Beşiktaş JK.
So, when you follow the breadcrumbs from Fernández-Palacios to Sepp Blatter, you end up discovering the weaving of a not so-well-disguised pattern of ugly relationships.
We should now admit and question the possibility that the recent disciplinary investigation against Fenerbahçe is in fact a possible plot attempt against Michel Platini’s future FIFA President candidacy and that Fenerbahçe is used a scapegoat.
by Cem ARGUN