UEFA president Michel Platini announces intention to stand as a candidate for the FIFA presidency
UEFA president Michel Platini confirmed his intentions to run in the election to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA's president, pledging that he would work tirelessly "in the interests of football."
Platini has received indications of support from at least four continental confederations, according to the BBC. CONMEBOL (South America), CONCACAF (North, Central America and the Caribbean), AFC (Asia) and UEFA (Europe) have reportedly thrown their support to a Platini bid. Recent reports indicated that a majority of FIFA's 209 confederations have already asked Platini to run.
"This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future," Platini said. "I was also guided by the esteem, support and encouragement that many of you have shown me."
"There are times in life when you have to take your destiny into your own hands," he 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."
FIFA’s executive committee has set Feb. 26, 2016 as the date for a vote to replace Blatter, and candidates have until Oct. 26 to be nominated by five national federations. A two-thirds majority is required in the first round of voting to win the election. If that fails, then a simple majority is required.
Blatter said last month he would leave his post after 18 years at the helm of FIFA, just four days after he won a fifth four-year term by beating Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein in a vote.
Blatter is reportedly under investigation for bribery and racketeering by several U.S. federal agencies and accused of corruption after being linked to officials taking bribes in efforts to secure lucrative broadcast rights and hosting votes for international tournaments.
The 60-year-old Platini was elected to a third term as UEFA president in March and has said he believes he is the best person to lead world soccer's governing body.
"During this last half-century or so, FIFA has only had two presidents," Platini said. "This extreme stability is something of a paradox in a world that has experienced radical upheavals and in a sport that has undergone considerable economic change. However, recent events force the supreme governing body of world football to turn over a new leaf and rethink its governance."
Chung Mong-joon, a former FIFA vice-president from South Korea and Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, who was defeated by Blatter in May's election, have also been mentioned as possible candidates.
Mong-joon reportedly met with Platini during the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final in Philadelphia.
- Scooby Axson