Global news

Platini unsure over FIFA presidency

August 28, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

UEFA president Michel Platini has said he must “convince” himself it is his “destiny” to run for the FIFA presidency, with incumbent Sepp Blatter expected to step down in 2015.

UEFA chief Michel Platini not dressed as a guide
PA PhotosPlatini is not interested in 'the position for the position's sake'.

Platini, 58, has been the head of European football's governing body since 2007. He has been widely tipped to succeed 77-year-old Blatter, who has said he was ready for the task and told L'Equipe in May would be his "natural candidate".

However, Platini, who has already worked closely with Blatter at football's global governing body, is far from certain that he wants to follow in his footsteps and swap Nyon for Zurich.

"I'm thinking about it, whether it's good or not. I have to convince myself, just as when I convinced myself to run for the presidency of UEFA, that I want to go to FIFA. UEFA and FIFA, it's not the same world," Platini, expected to announce his decision at UEFA's executive committee meeting in Dubrovnik next month, told L'Equipe.

"People would fight to be FIFA president, but not me. I have to decide if it's a good thing for football. The position for the position's sake doesn't interest me.

“I've been Michel Platini, I've had three Ballon d'Or, I've been the best player in the world. To be No. 1 in the world, I've been that in football, not in the corridors. I have to convince myself it's my destiny, that it's good for football, because I'm very happy at UEFA." 

The former France coach has been at the heart of UEFA moves to broaden the European “football family”, which now numbers 54 member associations. Initiatives have included providing the impetus for the introduction of Financial Fair Play and giving title-winners from smaller nations a less bumpy route into the Champions League group stages.

But he said he was unsure whether Blatter would even relinquish power. "I'll decide by myself, without worrying about Sepp,” he explained. “First of all, he said he would stop in 2015. Now he's saying that he'll explain what he's going to do in a year's time in Brazil.

"He said I was his natural candidate, but there's no deal between us, even if today I have the legitimacy to be able to go to FIFA."

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