UEFA delays presidential election until Michel Platini appeal process is over
Published 22/01/2016 | 19:53
UEFA will not hold an election to replace Michel Platini as its president until the appeals process against the Frenchman's eight-year ban has been exhausted.
Platini was banned along with FIFA president Sepp Blatter last month over a £1.3million payment he received from FIFA in 2011. He has appealed to FIFA's appeals committee and is expected to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if that fails.
UEFA's executive committee met on Friday and decided to delay any election until the outcome of that process. Platini has already withdrawn as a candidate for next month's FIFA presidential election and UEFA's executive committee has now formally backed UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino in the election campaign.
Infantino is understood to have stressed to delegates from the 54 member associations who met in Nyon on Friday that there is no possibility of him doing a deal with rival candidate Sheikh Salman Al Khalifa, the president of Asian football, which would see the Swiss-Italian lawyer withdraw from the election and take over as FIFA's secretary general should Salman win.
Infantino told a news conference afterwards: "I'm a candidate in the FIFA presidency until the end." UEFA has agree to give 500,000 euros to support his campaign but he insisted he was "not the UEFA candidate".
He added: "I am not the UEFA candidate, I am not the European candidate, I see myself as the candidate for football. I'm Italian, I'm Swiss, I'm European but more than that I'm a football person and that's what the world of football needs."
In terms of a successor to Platini, it now appears no president will be elected before the European Championships start in June. A statement from UEFA said: "The UEFA executive committee decided there will be no UEFA presidential election scheduled until the sports justice appeal bodies, including potentially the Court of Arbitration for Sport, have taken a decision regarding Michel Platini's suspension.
"The UEFA executive committee and UEFA's national associations would like to state that we have taken note of the decision of the FIFA ethics committee to suspend the UEFA president, Michel Platini. We hope his name is cleared and that he can return to the European football family as quickly as possible.''