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FIFA UEFA’s Michel Platini running as Sepp Blatter successor

Platini now ready to replace Blatter.

(Keystone)

Michel Platini, president of European football body, UEFA, has announced he will run for the presidency of FIFA. Next February, there will be an election to replace Sepp Blatter.

Platini was quoted on UEFA’s website, saying: “I am at one of those decisive moments, at a juncture in my life and in events that are shaping the future of FIFA”.

Prior to Sepp Blatter’s re-election to the world football organisation in May, Platini, a former French football star, urged Blatter to step down when corruption charges were pronounced against other FIFA officials.

Soon after the announcement was made, Jordanian prince Ali bin Al Hussein, who had opposed Blatter in the May elections before losing to him, issued a stong condemnation of Platini's candidacy.

Platini critics 

In a statement, Prince Ali said "Platini is not good for FIFA. Football's fans and players deserve better. FIFA is engulfed in scandal. We must stop doing business as usual. The practice of back-room, under-the-table deals must end".

On Thursday, Chung Mong-joon, a former FIFA vice-president and South Korean billionaire shareholder of industrial giant Hyundai, said he would also like to replace Blatter.

He told the magazine Forbes: “It will be very difficult for Mr Platini to have any meaningful reforms. Mr Platini enjoys institutional support from the current structure of Fifa. Mr Platini is very much a product of the current system”. 

Prior to Sepp Blatter’s re-election to the world football organisation in May, Platini, a former French football star, urged Blatter to step down when corruption charges were pronounced against other FIFA officials.

Now better prepared?

Platini became head of UEFA in 2006, and has been a member of FIFA’s Executive Committee since 2002, representing European football associations. He headed the organising committee for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, held in France.

Platini wrote in his autobiography, entitled “Parlons Football”, that former FIFA president Joao Havelange had wanted him as a successor in 1998, with Sepp Blatter continuing as secretary general. He wrote that he did not feel prepared at the time.

“It would not have been very practical. For one thing, in January 1998 I had the weight of the World Cup on my shoulders, but, above all, I didn’t feel ready to take on such responsibility”.

Elections are scheduled to be held at an extraordinary congress in Zurich on February 26, 2016.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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