Platini announces FIFA presidency bid
By Brian Homewood
BERNE (Reuters) - UEFA president Michel Platini ended weeks of uncertainty on Wednesday when he announced that he would stand for the presidency of FIFA in place of outgoing Sepp Blatter.
The former French international, who has been UEFA president since 2007 and a FIFA executive committee member since 2002, said he wanted to "to give FIFA back the dignity and the position it deserves."
Platini, who played in three World Cups for France and led them to the European championship title in 1984, said he had written to the 209 member associations of FIFA, who each hold one vote in the presidential election, to inform them of his decision.
"This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of soccer alongside my own future," he said in the letter, according to a statement published on the UEFA website (www.uefa.org).
"I was also guided by the esteem, support and encouragement that many of you have shown me."
"There are times in life when you have to take your destiny into your own hands."
Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term as president on May 29, but four days later said he would lay down his mandate amid the worst crisis in FIFA's history. Blatter will remain as president until the election on Feb. 26.
Once seen as a Blatter protege, Platini has recently become a leading critic of the 79-year-old Swiss. He urged Blatter not to stand in May and said the series of recent scandals involving FIFA turned his stomach. Continued...