I'm only one who can beat Blatter, says Platini

Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:22am EDT
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By Mike Collett

ASTANA (Reuters) - UEFA chief Michel Platini told Reuters on Thursday he was the only person capable of beating Sepp Blatter in an election battle for the FIFA presidency.

The 58-year-old Frenchman emphasized he had yet to decide whether to stand for world soccer's top job next year but told Reuters in a briefing following the UEFA Congress in Kazakhstan: "There is only one person who can beat Blatter".

Asked who that was, Platini said: "Me".

The former France midfielder also said he told FIFA investigator Michael Garcia why, as a member of the organization's executive committee, he voted for Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Platini added he would "be the first" to fight any bid to stop Garcia probing corruption allegations surrounding FIFA and that his first thought when he saw Nicolas Anelka's recent 'quenelle' salute was, "Oh-oh, do the English realize what a problem they have here?".

President of European soccer's governing body UEFA since 2007, Platini said he would decide later this year whether to stand for the number one job at FIFA.

Asked if he had enough backing outside Europe, he replied: "Yes I have many people who support me around the world but I have not yet decided to run.

"I am happy being UEFA president and I still have to decide about FIFA. I will consult many people but it will be my personal decision in the end."   Continued...

UEFA president Michel Platini arrives to attend the FA150 Gala Dinner commemorating the Football Association's 150th year at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London October 26, 2013. REUTERS/Leon Neal/Pool