UEFA head Platini to announce FIFA presidency bid

Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:24am EDT
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By Simon Evans

ZURICH (Reuters) - Michel Platini, the head of European soccer's governing body UEFA, is to announce in the next few days that he will stand for the presidency of FIFA, a source close to the former France international told Reuters on Tuesday.

The 60-year-old Platini, a former France and Juventus midfielder, has been UEFA president since 2007 and had been widely expected to throw his hat into the ring to succeed Sepp Blatter, who announced his plan to stand down two months ago.

Platini’s impending announcement, expected before the end of the week, is likely to prompt other contenders to confirm their plans to stand.

South Korea's Chung Mong-joon, a former FIFA vice-president, is expected to announce his candidacy next month, while Jordan's Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, beaten by Blatter in May's presidential vote, is also considering running in next February's election.

The vote will be held at a special 'elective congress' in Zurich on Feb. 26.

Blatter, who has been president since 1998, was re-elected for a fifth term in May, but amidst the fall-out from the arrest of nine soccer officials, including some senior FIFA and ex-FIFA officials, he said he was "laying down" his mandate.

Platini has long been the bookmakers' favorite to succeed Blatter and last week his supporters indicated that he has picked up widespread support from leaders of the continental confederations.

A former protege of Blatter’s, Platini turned into one of his biggest critics and he has said FIFA's corruption scandal "disgusted" him and gave him "stomach trouble".   Continued...

UEFA President Michel Platini addresses a news conference after a UEFA meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, in this May 28, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/Files