ZURICH (Reuters) - Four out of six continental soccer confederations would back Michel Platini, head of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, to lead the sport’s world governing body FIFA should he stand, a source close to UEFA said on Monday.
However, a UEFA spokesman said Frenchman Platini had not yet decided whether to run in a Feb 26 election to replace Sepp Blatter, who announced in June he was resigning, as a corruption scandal engulfed FIFA.
The confederations themselves were not available to comment on whether they would be able to persuade their members to vote for Platini. Each of FIFA’s 209 member associations has one vote at the presidential elections. As voting is secret, they have
no way in practice of enforcing a block vote.
Platini, a former French international regarded as one of the most gifted players of his generation, was repeatedly promised support at meetings with confederation representatives held into Sunday night at a hotel in Zurich, the source said.
“The UEFA president is very happy with his current role as leader of European soccer’s governing body,” UEFA’s head of communications Pedro Pinto told reporters.
”He’s been very pleased and touched by the words of support he has received here in Zurich over the last couple of days.
United States prosecutors threw FIFA into turmoil in May by indicting 14 sports marketing executives and soccer officials, including a number from soccer’s governing body. Seven were arrested in a dawn raid on a Zurich hotel.
Pinto said Platini, elected for a third term as UEFA president in March, would consider his position in the near future and would announce his intentions when he was ready.
“He’s pleased that many people see him as someone who could lead FIFA into a new period, with a new image, an image of transparency and good governance.”
At the FIFA presidential election in May, a number of UEFA’s own member associations voted for Blatter despite Platini having urged them to vote for challenger Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein.
Blatter was elected for a fifth term at the congress in May but announced on June 2 that he would step down as a corruption scandal broke around FIFA. He himself has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
As well as UEFA, the continental confederations representing South America (Conmebol), North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF), and Asia (AFC) have all reportedly told Platini they would back his candidacy for FIFA president.
The other two confederations are Africa’s CAF and Oceania’s OFC.
Platini was once considered Blatter’s protege and a natural successor to the 79-year-old Swiss. The two have become rivals in the last year, however, and Platini urged Blatter not to stand for a fifth term in May.
Editing by Ralph Boulton