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FIFA president Sepp Blatter challenges critics to run against him

FIFA president Sepp Blatter challenges critics to run against him Photo:

Sepp Blatter challenged his critics to run against him in next year's election for FIFA president, he said on Saturday at an annual charity soccer tournament in Switzerland, according to the Associated Press.

The incumbent since 1998, Blatter is not backing down from critics like UEFA president Michel Platini, ​who has said that "FIFA needs a breath of fresh air," and that he won't support Blatter anymore. Platini also cites Blatter's 2011 statements in which he promised to leave the organization by 2015.

Platini, who was considered the frontrunner to replace Blatter, publicly withdrew from consideration before the World Cup, but he has scheduled a news conference later this month in Monaco where he may announce his candidacy.

"Don't speak — go out and fight, then you will see," Blatter said. "People, they say I should not be a candidate or I should not be elected — they can take the risk to be in the election.

"... I am happy to fight. But if you take the risk, you also have the chance to lose."

Blatter will be seeking his fifth term in the May election. Those who intend to run against him have until January to confirm their candidacy.

- Chris Mascaro

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