UEFA CHIEF MICHEL PLATINI TALKS UP FIFA PRESIDENCY CHANCES /
UEFA president Michel Platini has claimed that he is the only person capable of defeating FIFA president Sepp Blatter in an election for the top job at football’s global governing body.
The 58-year-old head of football’s European governing body reiterated that he has not decided whether to stand for the FIFA presidency next year, but he told the Reuters news agency: “There is only one person who can beat Blatter – me.”
Blatter has been president of FIFA since 1998 and has repeatedly hinted that he will stand for a fifth term in office in 18 months’ time, despite initially promising that his current four-year term would be his last. The incumbent head of world football has previously said he will make a decision before this year’s FIFA Congress, which will be held in June ahead of the World Cup in Brazil.
Platini, who has served as UEFA president since 2007, said that he would decide later this year whether to stand for the top job at FIFA. Asked if he had enough backing outside Europe, he replied: “Yes I have many people who support me around the world but I have not yet decided to run. I am happy being UEFA president and I still have to decide about FIFA. I will consult many people but it will be my personal decision in the end.”
In January, Jerome Champagne launched his bid to stand for the FIFA presidency in 2015, but immediately cast uncertainty over his prospects for victory by admitting that he would be unlikely to defeat Blatter. Platini’s fellow Frenchman had served as one of Blatter’s key advisers until he left his post as director of international relations in 2010, having worked for FIFA in an 11-year spell that included a spell as deputy secretary general.
In a separate announcement today (Thursday), UEFA said that it had appointed the Vero Communications agency to help develop and support its international communications activities. Working closely with Platini’s chief of press, Pedro Pinto, the company Vero will provide strategic communications support on a range of key issues and the promotion of major milestones in the European football calendar.
The Vero chairman Mike Lee, who served as UEFA'S director of communications and public affairs from 2000 to 2004, said: “With an evolving European football landscape, UEFA is playing a key role in shaping the future and we are delighted to be joining the team to help develop and deliver effective communications to stakeholders and the international media.”