Uefa president Michel Platini says he has “weighed up the future of football” after confirming he will be a candidate to be the next president of Fifa. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Platini has not announced his candidacy.
Platini, the UEFA president, held further talks with football powerbrokers at the 2018 World Cup draw in St Petersburg at the weekend and is now confident he has the support necessary to win.
He said he was standing as a candidate “with enthusiasm and conviction, but also with the humility of someone who knows that he can not succeed on his own”.
The 60-year-old has been an outspoken critic of Blatter but has drawn disapproval himself over the years – in particular because of his choice of Qatar in the World Cup 2022 vote.
Platini, part of the Federation Internationale de Football Association executive committee since 2002, voted for Qatar, despite FIFA’s own technical report flagging up concerns about the searing heat in the Gulf state.
Three outsiders have also said they intend to run for the position – Liberian FA chairman Musa Bility, former Brazil worldwide Zico and former France winger David Ginola.
Candidatures must be submitted by 26 October 2015, and the election will take place in Zurich on 26 February 2016.
On the other side of the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin made waves with an astonishing comment in an interview aired by Swiss broadcaster RTS on Monday. “If there is anyone who deserves the Nobel Prize, it’s those people”.
As current president of UEFA, Platini is expected to gain the full backing of the European nations, while he is also thought to have gained the support of South America (Conmebol), North, Central America and the Caribbean (Concacaf) and Asia (AFC).
Spain’s Angel Villar Llona is understood to still harbour ambitions for the UEFA presidency but he is still under investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee over Spain’s bid for the 2018 World Cup.