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Platini poised for FIFA presidential run

By Agence France Presse In Paris | China Daily | Updated: 2015-07-30 08:44

UEFA chief Michel Platini is set to announce in the coming days he will stand in next year's election to replace Sepp Blatter as president of FIFA.

A source close to the French icon said on Tuesday "an announcement will be made before the end of the week", while another source confirmed Platini has decided to run.

When asked, Platini's spokesman refused to comment.

Outgoing president Blatter announced last week the election for his successor would be held on February 26, 2016.

Platini has positioned himself as one of the most outspoken opponents to Blatter's regime, and publicly called for him to stand down after seven FIFA executive committee members were arrested on corruption allegations in raids in Switzerland before May's election.

Blatter ignored those calls and was duly elected for a fifth term as president, only to announce his intention to stand down on June 2 as world soccer's governing body became mired in scandal.

Platini, 60, has since emerged as one of the most likely names to run in the election and has the verbal support of four of the six confederations that make up FIFA, with the strongly pro-Blatter Confederation of African Football and that of Oceania the only exceptions.

The former Juventus and France star eventually decided not to run in May's election, having apparently seriously considered doing so at one point, so if he does come forward this time it would indicate a confidence on his part that he can win.

None of those who have so far come forward appear as credible a candidate as Platini, who has been in charge of UEFA since 2007.

Former Brazil star Zico lacks any experience of international soccer administration while Liberian FA chief Musa Bility is unknown outside of Africa and Diego Maradona, who has declared an interest in standing, is unlikely to be a serious contender.

Jordanian Prince Ali, who took on Blatter in May's vote, got much of his support from UEFA members and so would be likely to give his backing to Platini rather than stand against him.

Candidates have until Oct 26 - exactly four months before the vote - to come forward.

They must have the confirmed backing of at least five of FIFA's 209 member nations, and be cleared by the world governing body's ethics committee, to be able to stand.

Meanwhile, Zico said on Tuesday he has formally asked the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) to put forward his candidacy.

However 62-year-old Zico, who has previously conceded he lacked support from Brazil's top soccer brass, said he is ready to try another approach if he fails to get the CBF's backing.

"The first option is this. I am Brazilian, I gave my services to the Brazilian team for 10 years," Zico told Globo Esporte.

"I sent a letter to the president (of the CBF) ... laying out the reasons for my candidacy and now I'm just waiting for his reply to see whether he makes the commitment or not, if he accepts or not.

"But I won't wait long because time is passing rapidly and we have other options," he said.

 Platini poised for FIFA presidential run

UEFA president Michel Platini addresses a media conference after a UEFA meeting in Zurich in May.Ruben Sprich / Reuters


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