Former Sevilla president Del Nido jailed

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SEVILLE, Spain (AP) -- Former Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido began serving a seven-year jail sentence on Wednesday.

Spanish reports suggested Del Nido voluntarily submitted to his jail sentence after learning a Malaga court would not grant him the pardon he was seeking to avoid incarceration.

The 56-year-old Del Nido was found guilty in December 2011 of corruption charges and of embezzling funds in the southern Spanish town of Marbella, and was ordered to pay 2.7 million euros (then-$3.5 million) for his role as a lawyer in the corruption ring from 1999-2003.

Del Nido presided over the most successful period in Sevilla club history with a pair of UEFA Cups among the trophies won since his arrival in 2002 as president and a major shareholder.