Michel Platini says Fifa president Sepp Blatter is 'not good for football'
Sports News Correspondent
Thursday 12 June 2014
Michel Platini, one of football’s most powerful men, chose the opening day of the World Cup to publicly withdraw his support from Fifa president Sepp Blatter, declaring that the sport’s troubled governing body required a “breath of fresh air”.
Blatter is set to run for a fifth term as president despite the latest swirl of corruption allegations surrounding the organisation he has headed for 16 years.
But Platini, president of Uefa, is marshalling European federations against his former ally and yesterday was the first time he has spoken out against Blatter. The Frenchman will decide after the World Cup whether he will stand against Blatter in next year’s presidential election.
It leaves the football world deeply divided with Europe on one side and the rest of the game’s federations on the other, still in the Blatter camp on the evidence of this week’s Fifa Congress in Sao Paulo.
“I am supporting him no longer. I have known him for a long time, I like him, but I’m not favourable to him having another term,” said Platini in Sao Paulo. “I think Fifa needs a breath of fresh air. I share the European position. A new mandate for him would not be good for football.”
Blatter was re-elected unopposed in 2011 and promised it would be his last term, but his intention to stand again has become increasingly clear over the last couple of years.
He told congress this week that his “mission was not finished” and in return it voted against introducing age or term limits for the presidency.
During the congress Blatter condemned the British media as “racist” over investigations into corruption linked to Qatar. That angered several leading Uefa members, including England.
So far Jerome Champagne, a former Fifa executive, is the only declared candidate for the 2015 election but Blatter is certain to run and Platini will decide in August.
The delay allows Platini to assess any fallout from Michael Garcia’s report into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar – delivered to Fifa after the World Cup – and the allegations of corruption that surround it. Platini voted for Qatar.
“It is an option,” said Platini when asked if he would run for Fifa president. “But it is not because of Blatter that Michel Platini would stand. And it is not because of Sepp Blatter that Michel Platini would not appear. My only concern is what I want to do.”
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