Platini runs for Uefa presidency to 'stop big business'

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The Independent Online

The former France captain and manager, Michel Platini, plans to run for the presidency of the sport's European governing body, Uefa.

The former France captain and manager, Michel Platini, plans to run for the presidency of the sport's European governing body, Uefa.

The 49-year-old said if he was elected he would put a smile back on the face of a sport he fears is becoming ruled by big business.

"I've sent a letter announcing my intention to the president of Uefa," he said. "There are many turbulences in football and I want to do something about it." The current president is Lennart Johansson, but the Swede says he will not run for election again.

Platini said his passion for the game is the reason he is running. "I want football to be something other than what it is today," he said. "I want to prevent the most beautiful game from becoming only business.

"I don't need the notoriety, I have it already. And I don't do this for money, because if I am elected, I will earn less money than today."

Platini still commands huge respect in the game and has not been afraid to voice his displeasure at aspects of modern football in various administrative roles he has held since hanging up his boots in 1987. He believes that the grassroots of the game must be protected, while the "win at all costs mentality" has to change.

"We have to fight for the youth academies," Platini said. "It is unacceptable that a player leaves for a foreign country without having played for the club he has been formed at. We have to address this problem."

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