Michel Platini to Hold Sepp Blatter by His Promises for Reform

October 21, 2011

UEFA President Michel Platini has challenged FIFA president Sepp Blatter to keep his promises for reform with one of the most important days in the world governing body’s turbulent history looming large.

Blatter will on Friday announce his proposals for change, and UEFA president Platini said he hopes the meeting of FIFA’s executive committee will lead to a new era of transparency.

The eight European FIFA members met on Thursday to discuss their strategy to make sure the reforms happen and – in the words of one – “re-establish the credibility of football” after 12 months where FIFA has been rocked by a series of corruption scandals.

The Europeans, led by Platini, will push for Germany’s Theo Zwanziger to be appointed as the head of a new body to implement the reforms, and he has already presented Blatter with his five-point plan for change.

Platini told Press Association Sport: “We hope that what Mr Blatter promised us this time becomes fact, and not just ideas. We hope that we can bring transparency to FIFA but there will be a proposal and we will have a discussion.

“The mood is the same for all of us in Europe, don’t forget that in Cyprus last month the 53 national associations of UEFA asked us to take care of what could happen in FIFA. There were also questions at the Congress in Zurich when some people asked for better governance.

“I am sure that Mr Blatter will propose some new things to the executive committee and we will discuss these.”

Europe will hold more than a third of the votes tomorrow – only 21 members are expected to attend as American member Chuck Blazer is ill, while Thailand’s Worawi Makudi is not attending due to floods in his country.

Platini said he was confident FIFA is heading for a better future, but that football could still thrive despite the problems with the organisation.

He added: “I think so, but don’t forget we played the Champions League final at the same time as the trouble of the FIFA. The football continued and that means we don’t need FIFA to have better football. But FIFA has to have a better image and perhaps after a lot of years of a certain way of how to manage FIFA, perhaps it would be nice to have the new things promised by Mr Blatter.

“I get the impression that Mr Blatter is really motivated to change something – we will see.”

FIFA have been under pressure to change following the corruption scandals of the last 12 months which has seen three FIFA members banned, including presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam banned for life for bribery, and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner resigning a month after being charged with the same offence.