REPORT: Platini Decides that he Needs Extra Time to Decide on a FIFA Power Bid, Keir Radnedge

September 17, 2013

Michel Platini is continuing to waver over whether to contest the FIFA presidency when Sepp Blatter’s current terms ends in May 2015.

UEFA’s French leader had raised speculation last month when he said he would address the issue during this week’s committee meetings in Dubrovnik.

The unlikely prospect of a candidate signallling his intention so far out had generated speculation that he had decided the 24/7 presidency style established by Blatter was not to his taste.

However he told UEFA member association leaders, ahead of an executive committee meeting late this week, that he would not make any decision before next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

Platini, who once commented that he would never run against Blatter, said: “I have not yet decided what will I do in the future, and I want to have a few additional months to think. I will take my decision during or after the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, not before.

“I deeply love UEFA, and it would be heart-breaking to choose another path, but at the same time, the question continuously pops up and it is a legitimate one. This is the reason why it is important for me to take my time, to make sure I take the right decision.

“Furthermore, these elections are in two years’ time, and I think it would be egotistical of me to make it a topic for debate or discussion now when football faces much more important issues than me or my situation.

“Let’s concentrate on the key current matters and we will have the occasion to think about my future in the coming months.”


A further complication over the timing was raised by FIFA Congress last May when it was decided that a presidential candidate must register his nomination four months before the election.

This would mean that Platini, should he decide to stand, would have to do so before UEFA’s own presidential election. He could end up renouncing a continuation in UEFA’s top and then lose the FIFA election and find himself out in the footballing cold.

Blatter said, in 2011, that he was embarking on his last FIFA term but has since indicated a change of heart. The only other name raised as a possible candidate – for either the FIFA or UEFA vacancy – has been that of Angel Maria Villar, president of the Spanish federation who is a vice-president of both international bodies.

** UEFA’s executive committee is expected to take a view on the possible timing switch of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar ahead of a debate by FIFA’s own exco on October 3-4.

Keir Radnedge has been covering football worldwide for more than 40 years, writing 33 books, from tournament guides to comprehensive encyclopedias, aimed at all ages.

His journalism career included The Daily Mail for 20 years as well as The Guardian and other national newspapers and magazines in the UK and around the world. He is a former editor, and remains a lead columnist, with World Soccer, generally recognised as the premier English language magazine on global football.

In addition to his writing, Keir has been a regular analyst for BBC radio and television, Sky Sports, Sky News, Aljazeera and CNN.

Keir Radnedge’s Twitter: @KeirRadnedge

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