Platini to confirm Fifa presidential run soon

ZURICH • Michel Platini, the head of European football's governing body Uefa, is set to announce in the coming days that he will stand for the presidency of Fifa.

The 60-year-old , a former France and Juventus midfielder, has been Uefa president since 2007 and had been widely expected to throw his hat into the ring to succeed Sepp Blatter, who announced his plan to stand down two months ago.

Platini's impending announcement, expected before the end of the week, is likely to prompt other contenders to confirm their plans to stand.

South Korea's Chung Mong Joon, a former Fifa vice-president, is expected to announce his candidacy next month, while Jordan's Prince Ali Al Hussein, beaten by Blatter in May's presidential vote, is also considering running in February's election.

The vote will be held at a special elective congress in Zurich on Feb 26. Blatter, who has been president since 1998, was re-elected for a fifth term in May, but amid the fallout from the arrest of nine football officials, including some senior Fifa and former Fifa officials, he said he was "laying down" his mandate.

Platini has long been the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Blatter. Last week, his supporters indicated that he has picked up widespread support from leaders of the continental confederations.

A former protege of Blatter's, Platini turned into one of his biggest critics and he has said Fifa's corruption scandal "disgusted" him and gave him "stomach trouble".

But the Frenchman's own critics will focus on his support for the 2022 winter World Cup to be held in Qatar.

Platini, part of the Fifa executive committee since 2002, voted for Qatar, despite Fifa's own technical report flagging concerns about the searing heat in the Gulf state. That may be a difficult line of attack for his two possible Asian rivals to take however, given that Qatar is part of the Asian Football Confederation.

Three outsiders have already stated their to run - Liberian FA chairman Musa Bility, former Brazil international Zico and former France winger David Ginola.

The deadline for candidates to formally present their nominations, with support, is Oct 26. REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2015, with the headline 'Platini to confirm Fifa presidential run soon'. Print Edition | Subscribe