Blatter: Platini ready to succeed me
FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes Michel Platini is "ready" to succeed him as the head of world football's governing body and is convinced the Frenchman would do an excellent job.
Platini, a three-time Ballon d'Or winner during his glittering playing career, has been UEFA president since 2007. Over the past four-and-a-half years, he has overhauled the continent's club competitions, making the Champions League more inclusive to smaller nations and rebranding the UEFA Cup as the Europa League.
The former Juventus midfielder has so far refused to confirm whether he will stand for the FIFA presidency when Blatter steps down in 2015, but the Swiss is convinced that he wants the job.
"Michel Platini is ready if he wishes," Blatter told France Football. "He says 'I do not know'... but deep down, he wants it.
"He will be a good president of course. He will not be the same president as me, because everyone is different, but he will be good president.''
Meanwhile, Blatter poured scorn on disgraced ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner's threat of a "tsunami'' of revelations of malpractice involving Blatter at FIFA. Warner claimed he was given World Cup TV rights for one US dollar in return for supporting Blatter's presidential hopes in 1998 and 2002.
Blatter confirmed that Warner had been given the TV rights from 1986 to 1998 for a dollar - but blamed the late Mexican FIFA vice-president Guillermo Canedo, a TV tycoon, and said it was nothing to do with him.
"From 1986 and until 1998 he was awarded the television rights for one dollar by Mr Canedo," Blatter said. "Why? Because Mr Canedo wanted to keep the vice-presidency of FIFA and Mr Warner had a majority in CONCACAF.''
He added in a separate interview in German magazine Kicker: "There is no tsunami. Jack Warner is claiming I assigned him the TV rights for Trinidad for one dollar when I was first elected in 1998.
"That's not true. We had no influence on the assignment of these rights. He acquired them in 1986 from OTI [Organizacion de Telecomunicaciones Iberoamericanas].
"But I do know what I've done wrong! I've taken FIFA out of the red, which was the situation when I became president in 1998, and into the black.''