UEFA president Johansson will seek re-election

July 11, 2006

LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - Lennart Johansson said on Tuesday he would seek re-election as president of UEFA, European soccer's ruling body.

The 76-year-old Swede has been president since 1990 and said in a statement he would 'seek a further, and final, term of office'.

Former France captain and coach Michel Platini is the only other man to have declared his intention to be a candidate for the next four-year term. The election is due to take place next year.

Former Germany captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer, the president of the organising committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, said last month he would be interested in the UEFA presidency if Johansson retired.

Johansson, who has suffered from prostate cancer, said in January it was time for him to step down 'to go fishing' but in April he said he had been subjected to a persuasion campaign and was considering standing again.

'I have been honoured by the number of colleagues in Europe and across the world, including the FIFA President (Sepp Blatter), who have said they want continuity and stable leadership and feel that I can and should provide that in Europe,' Johansson said on Tuesday.

'We have discussed what we have achieved together and what we must do to provide a secure future for UEFA, the national associations, and football across the continent.

'All of this, and the requests I have received to remain as president, have convinced me that I should seek a further, and final, term of office.'