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Interim Spanish federation head defends 'friend' Villar

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) The new interim head of Spain's football federation defended Angel Maria Villar on Wednesday, saying he'd bet his life that his "friend" and the man he has replaced is innocent of corruption charges.

While Villar remains in prison without bail awaiting the outcome of a criminal investigation, the new federation president is Juan Luis Larrea, the body's treasurer under Villar for three decades.

Larrea backed his old boss a day after Villar was suspended from his job for a year by Spain's top sports authority, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

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