From February 2016, FIFA will have a new leader and on Wednesday, Frenchman Michel Platini has officially declared himself a possible candidate. The news could also mean something for German FA boss Wolfgang Niersbach.
Just one day after reports suggested UEFA President Michel Platini would stand for the FIFA presidency, the 60-year-old Frenchman has confirmed his intention to succeed Sepp Blatter in football’s top job.
“This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future,” read Platini’s letter sent to football’s governing body and published on the UEFA website on Wednesday afternoon. “There are times in life when you have to take your destiny into your own hands,” added Platini. “I am at one of those decisive moments, at a juncture in my life and in events that are shaping the future of FIFA.”
UEFA boss since 2007, Platini did have a strong friendship with current FIFA President Sepp Blatter. That relationship has been strained of late however, and although Platini said he had defended his ideas and proposals in order to give FIFA the support it needed, now he is ready to speak his mind.
A new beginning
Platini believes “recent events force the supreme governing body of world football to turn over a new leaf and rethink its governance.” A recent corruption scandal has left FIFA’s reputation in tatters and forced Blatter to announce his resignation shortly after being re-elected as president in June.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner is the first serious contender to announce, with Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan and South Korean politician Chung Mong-joon also rumored to be interested in running. The news could also be of interest to German FA boss Wolfgang Niersbach, who has been touted as a potential Platini replacement as UEFA boss.
The FIFA election is on February 26 and would-be candidates must apply by October 26.