MADRID (AFP) - Spain's chances of competing at Euro 2008 dimmed on Monday when the Spanish Sports Council (CSD) declared the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) were not above the law and should proceed with elections before March 31 and not in November as they want to do.
The CSD, which is connected to the Ministry of Education, added it would look at the agreements reached by the RFEF congress before announcing a definitive decision.
The RFEF supported by world governing body FIFA want to hold elections before November 26, but after Euro 2008 which runs from June 7-29 and which is being co-hosted by Switzerland and Austria.
However, a ministerial decree issued in December 2007 compels all domestic sports federations - Olympic and non-Olympic - competing at the Olympics to hold elections in the first three months of this year.
"No institution, however important it is, can feel that it is above the law and the decisions reached by the courts," the CSD said in a statement.
"The CSD will analyse the agreements which were reached by the RFEF Congress and will announce their decision on what to enforce at an opportune moment.
"In any case, modifying the statutes and rules of elections to federations cannot be put into force if it does not have the endorsement of the board of the CSD, conforming to the present legislation."
Angel Maria Villar, president of the RFEF, said earlier on Monday that he and his body contested the ministerial decree taken by the Socialist government headed by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, even if it "wanted to respect all the laws".
On Friday the RFEF had suffered a blow in their fight against the government when a Spanish court rejected their request that they be considered a special case.
Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, has already warned that the RFEF could be suspended over the government intervention, which is strictly against the statutes of FIFA, which would lead to Spain being barred from playing at Euro 2008 and Spanish clubs from playing in team competitions outside Spain.
Should the threat be carried out then Northern Ireland could replace the Spanish at Euro 2008 as they finished third in their qualifying group.