FIFA: Platini promises to restore dignity

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UEFA president Michel Platini has promised to restore “dignity” at world football’s governing body after he announced his intention to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.

In a letter sent to all 209 associations on Wednesday, obtained in full by Sky Sports, Platini has called for urgent reform as FIFA face two criminal investigations into alleged corruption.

“Recent events force the supreme governing body of world football to turn over a new leaf and rethink its governance,” he wrote.

It is understood Platini telephoned Blatter, and other football leaders, before his declaration was made public.

“In the last few months, I have defended my ideas and proposals to give FIFA back the dignity and the position it deserves,” said Platini. “I will not shy away from doing so. During this last half-century or so, FIFA has only had two presidents.

“This extreme stability is something of a paradox in a world that has experienced radical upheavals and in a sport that has undergone considerable economic change.

“As the president of UEFA, I have brought Europe together on a unifying path. I intend to bring all the confederations together, with one goal in mind: to bring the world of football together, listening to everyone and respecting the diversity of the game around the world.”

Platini is believed to have secured support of the majority of leaders in world football, understood to include influential backers in the Asian football confederation.

“I am counting on your support and our common love of football so that, together, we can give the tens of millions of football fans the FIFA that they want: a FIFA that is exemplary, united and shows solidarity, a FIFA that is respected, liked and of the people,” Platini ended the letter, before he added, “I will work tirelessly in the interests of football.”

The FIFA presidential election will take place on 26 February.

Platini’s rivals have until October 26 to submit their application to FIFA’s ad-hoc electoral committee, along with the written support of at least five associations.

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