Platini for FIFA presidency

UEFA President Michel Platini to run for FIFA presidency

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The current Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) president, ex-soccer player and manager Michel Platini, is going to be a candidate in the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) presidency elections that will be held in Zurich on February 26, 2016.

UEFA’s official website announced Platini’s decision, who is also the vice-president of FIFA’s Executive Committee:

"This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future. I was also guided by the esteem, support and encouragement that many of you have shown me."

Mr Platini also added: "I am at one of those decisive moments, at a juncture in my life and in events that are shaping the future of FIFA."

"I am counting on your support and our common love of football so that, together, we can give the tens of millions of football fans the FIFA that they want: a FIFA that is exemplary, united and shows solidarity, a FIFA that is respected, liked and of the people."

In addition to Platini, former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon from South Korea, a billionaire whose family heads the Hyundai conglomerate and Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein who previously lost the presidency race to his opposition Joseph “Sepp” Blatter on May 29, are expected to announce themselves as candidates.

President of the Liberia Football Association Musa Bility, former Brazilian soccer player and manager Arthur Antunes Coimbra, also known as Zico and French former international football player David Ginola also are expected to compete for Blatter’s chair.

After Platini’s announcement, Prince Hussein criticized him and stated that football 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,” he said in a statement.

"What is clear is that FIFA needs new, independent leadership, untainted by the practices of the past,” added Prince Ali.

60 year-old Platini who has led the UEFA since 2007 is expected to declare his bid for FIFA presidency after the resignation of incumbent FIFA president Blatter.

Michel Platini is positioning himself as the most knowledgeable person about FIFA that is facing the most important crisis in its history since 1904.

Mr Platini is supported by four of FIFA’s six confederations including UEFA, CONCACAF (The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football), CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) and AFC (Asian Football Confederation), according to two soccer officials who spoke to the New York Times.

Blatter’s resignation came on June 2, just four days after being re-elected to a fifth term amid a corruption scandal. US authorities charged FIFA officials with bribery amounting $150 million and Swiss authorities started an investigation into the awarding process of the World Cup 2018 to Russia and 2022 to Qatar respectively.

Mr Platini told to reporters in late May "I told Sepp Blatter to leave, to step down, because he is giving FIFA a terrible image," adding "It's not easy to tell a friend that he must leave but that is the way history is going. I'm saying this with sadness, with tears in my eyes. There have been too many scandals."

Blatter’s wingman Platini was criticized by FIFA’s influential quarters for pushing Blatter to resign. 

According to Newsweek, Putin said Sepp Blatter deserved a Nobel Prize on his leadership.

"If there is anyone who deserves the Nobel Prize, it's those people," said Putin on Monday to Swiss RTS TV channel.

The deadline for candidates to declare their intent to run for FIFA’s presidency is October 26. Elections will be regulated by Domenico Scala, head of the Ad-Hoc election committee. 

In early June, Scala told Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung regarding the corruption case “If evidence should emerge that the awards to Qatar and Russia only came about thanks to bought votes then the awards could be invalidated,” The Guardian reported.

TRTWorld and agencies