Tuesday 23 January 2018

Michel Platini mulling over FIFA presidency bid

UEFA President Michel Platini
UEFA President Michel Platini

Michel Platini has postponed a decision on whether he will run for the FIFA presidency until the World Cup next year but admits it would be "heartbreaking" to leave UEFA.

Platini, the 58-year-old UEFA president, made his position clear at a meeting of European associations in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

He told the meeting: "I will take my decision during or after the FIFA World Cup and not before.

"I deeply love UEFA and it would be heartbreaking to choose another path but at the same time the question continuously crops up and it is a legitimate one."

Platini's decision may hinge on whether current FIFA president Sepp Blatter changes his mind and runs again for another term in office.

Blatter stated in 2011 that he would stand down in 2015 when his current term expires but has hinted recently that he may seek one more four-year stint and it is unlikely that Platini would stand against him.

Platini's remarks came at the UEFA top executive programme strategy meeting, a two-day get-together for all 54 European member associations and the UEFA executive committee.

The meeting is due on Wednesday to discuss the proposal to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter, and Platini said it would be "egotistical" to discuss his own future.

He added: "I have not decided what I will do in the future and I want to have a few additional months to think.

"These elections are in two years' time and I think it would be egotistical for me to make it a topic for debate or discussion now when football faces much more important problems or issues than myself or my situation.

"Let us concentrate on the key current matters facing the sport and we will have the occasion to think about my future in coming months."

Meanwhile, the head of Football Federation Australia said FIFA should pay compensation to the countries that bid against Qatar if the World Cup is moved to the winter.

Australia spent £30million on its bid and FFA chairman Frank Lowy said in a statement FIFA should not rush a decision at its October 3 executive committee meeting.

Lowy warned leagues around the world "would be severely disrupted and suffer financial loss".

He added that: "...fair compensation should be paid to those nations that invested many millions, and national prestige, in bidding for a summer event.

"Any final decision on a winter World Cup should only be made after the investigative chamber of FIFA's ethics committee, chaired by Mr Michael Garcia, concludes its inquiries into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

"If the Garcia investigation was to cast doubt on the 2022 bid process it would create a perfect storm of chaos and uncertainty for world football if FIFA had already altered the timing of the event.

"Better to let the independent investigative process run its natural course and then, with those issues settled, make a clear-eyed assessment about rescheduling and its consequences," Lowy said.

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