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Michel Platini confirms he will stand for FIFA president

Two officials familiar with Platini’s plans have said the FIFA vice president has made a decision to try to succeed Sepp Blatter

Published: Updated:

UEFA head Michel Platini announced on Wednesday his intention to stand for presidency of FIFA in place of Sepp Blatter.

"This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future," he said in a statement published on the UEFA website.

"There are times in life when you have to take your destiny into your own hands," added the former France international player.

The FIFA election is on Feb. 26 and would-be candidates must apply by Oct. 26.

Platini is set to be the first serious contender to announce he will stand, two months after Blatter was re-elected for a fifth four-year term.

Two former FIFA vice presidents from Asia are also possible contenders.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, who lost a 133-73 vote to Blatter on May 29, and South Korean politician Chung Mong-joon have made public statements about the election in recent days.

Blatter was Platini’s long-time mentor in FIFA politics until a rift developed as the 79-year-old Swiss hung on to office in recent years.

After 17 years as FIFA president, Blatter said on June 2 he was standing down, under pressure from American and Swiss federal investigations of corruption implicating senior FIFA officials.

Platini has not been linked to any wrongdoing, though his vote for Qatar as 2022 World Cup host has proved controversial. He was the first FIFA executive committee member to reveal who he voted for in the December 2010 hosting ballots that also gave the 2018 event to Russia.

Platini chose last year not to oppose Blatter in the recent election.

“Now is not my time, not yet,” Platini said last August in Monaco when announcing he would focus on getting a third term at UEFA, which he won unopposed in March.