A new candidate has tossed his name in the hat for FIFA President.
France’s Michel Platini is currently the president of the European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, and a FIFA vice president. He wrote that he wanted “to give FIFA back the dignity and the position it deserves,” in a UEFA press release.
According to The New York Times, Platini became a “heavy favorite” in the election, simply by announcing his campaign. Also, England’s Football Association (FA) quickly announced it supported him: “We have a good relationship with him and hope he can gain the necessary global backing to lead a new FIFA during the most difficult period in its history,” FA Chairman Greg Dyke said in a statement.
The presidential contest follows a major corruption scandal, and the decision by FIFA’S longtime president Sepp Blatter to resign.
A former player for France himself, Platini joined FIFA’s executive committee in 2002, writes the BBC. What’s his reputation like?
“Platini can fairly lay claim to being ‘a football man’, his status as a genuine great former player a rarity in Fifa’s corridors of power, earning him respect and admiration,” says [BBC sports editor Dan Roan.]
“However, he has been accused of tarnishing the qualification process for the European Championships by meddling with the competition to increase it to 24 teams.
“He has also been criticised for his pan-European vision for Euro 2020, while his stubborn opposition to goal-line technology also makes it hard for him to present himself as a reform candidate.
“Most importantly, despite his recent opposition to Blatter, he is associated with the outgoing president’s regime.”
As we reported previously on The Two-Way, the election will take place February 26, 2016 after former FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his resignation in June.
You can read more about Sepp Blatter’s resignation here.