Football must not be overlooked in FIFA race: Platini

Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:08pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA presidential candidate Michael Platini will publish his manifesto in the next six to eight weeks and wants to bring football back into the spotlight during the campaign, a source close to the Frenchman said on Wednesday.

Although Platini, the UEFA president, agrees that reform of scandal-plagued FIFA has to be the priority in the run-up to the election on Feb. 26, he also believes it should not completely overshadow the sport itself, the source told Reuters.

Platini, who announced his intention to stand on July 29 and will hold his first media conference since then in Monaco on Friday, has spent the last few weeks meeting people outside soccer's European ruling body UEFA to test the water.

He believes the future of the World Cup, the international calendar, changes to the laws of the game and the role of the law-making body IFAB (International Football Association Board) should be part of the debate, the source said.

Platini, a former France captain, who was one of the most gifted midfield players of his generation, also wants to discuss the reform of the transfer system and the role of agents.

One of Platini's biggest gripes as UEFA president has been the so-called triple punishment in which a player who gives away a penalty is sent off and receives an automatic one-match ban.

Earlier this year, UEFA sent a proposal to IFAB for the end of the "triple punishment" system. However, the rule-making body agreed only to consider an end to the automatic suspension.

Platini is against the use of goal-line technology, which FIFA employs in its tournaments, and prefers the use of so-called additional assistant referees, one on each goal-line, to spot penalty-area infringements.   Continued...

UEFA President Michel Platini  looks on before the preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia July 25, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov