Platini rules out challenging Blatter for FIFA presidency
UEFA president Michel Platini will not challenge Sepp Blatter for football's world governing body FIFA's leadership.
Platini had considered running as a candidate for FIFA's presidential elections that would be held next year, but he informed a meeting of 54 European football associations in Monte Carlo on Thursday that he wants to concentrate on leading the European administrative body instead.
Platini previously called for a breath of fresh air at the top of FIFA. He had said in June that he does not support Blatter, adding that he is not in favour of him having a new term, The BBC reported.
Platini had said that he supported Blatter in 1998 but he does not support him in 2014, also adding that in the future he would not support him.
FIFA executive committee member Michel D'Hooghe said of Platini's latest stance that it was a very positive message, adding that the Frenchman said he would like to continue as UEFA president. D'Hooghe said that he is pleased that it means that this time there will be no battle between FIFA and UEFA.
Blatter, 78, has been in power since 1998, but has been under pressure over the bidding process and subsequent decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. However, he recently indicated he was to seek re-election for a fifth term.
Alex Horne, general secretary of the English FA, said that they have asked Platini for the last couple of years to think about whether he wanted to run for FIFA presidency, as have a number of other national associations. He added that he has no doubt that the Frenchman would have made a fine candidate.
Platini's decision not to challenge the Swiss for the FIFA presidency means that, at present, there is just one candidate, former FIFA deputy secretary general Jerome Champagne.
Declarations for the elections are not required until January 2015 but Platini is now expected to wait until Blatter stands aside, possibly after another four-year cycle in 2019, the report added.
(Posted on 28-08-2014)