Platini: Change at top of FIFA is 'important' for football
Mar. 16, 2015
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Change at FIFA is "important for football," UEFA President Michel Platini said Monday in a recorded video interview two months before the world soccer body's presidential election.
Platini, a FIFA vice president, said the governing body needs "new ideas, a new program" as longtime leader Sepp Blatter seeks a fifth term on May 29.
UEFA is supporting the campaigns of all three of Blatter's opponents: FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, former Portugal great Luis Figo and Michael van Praag of the Netherlands, a UEFA executive committee member.
"Let's see what happens. Let's see the programs of the four candidates," Platini said in the video interview produced by UEFA. "But I think it's important for football that there is a change in FIFA."
Platini said at the World Cup last June he would no longer support Blatter, but opted in August not to run against his onetime mentor.
"Perhaps it is not my time for the moment to go to FIFA. We will see one day if I go or if I don't go," Platini said.
Still, the FIFA contest was "a very nice opportunity to open a debate for democratic reasons in the world of football," he said.
Platini is running unopposed for the UEFA presidency next week in Vienna. He also had no rival when he got a second four-year term in 2011.
Asked Monday what people got wrong about him, Platini said it was presuming he was authoritarian running UEFA.
"Don't think I am very despotic," he said. "I am very, very, very democratic and very, very transparent. I never take a decision alone without the support of the UEFA executive committee or with the congress of UEFA."