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Jun 3, 2014

Niersbach denies FIFA presidency links

Wolfgang Niersbach has been a member of the UEFA executive committee since 2013.

German FA (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach has rejected reports that he will run for the FIFA presidency in 2015.

In recent British media reports, the 63-year-old was named as a potential candidate to run for FIFA presidency should the current boss Sepp Blatter stand for his fifth term as the president of the governing body in 2015.

Niersbach, a member of the UEFA executive committee since 2013, is seen as one of Michel Platini's main confidants. It was reported that either the DFB president or Michael van Praag, the chairman of the Dutch FA, could be nominated to avoid burning current UEFA president Platini in a head-to-head race with Blatter.

"That honours me, but there is nothing to it," Niersbach told the German news wire dpa on Monday evening.

Last month, 78-year-old Blatter told Swiss newspapers that he will seek re-election in 2015, quite contrary to earlier statements in which he indicated that he was ready to stand down when his current term ends.

He is now expected to declare his candidacy at FIFA's annual congress in Sao Paulo on June 10 and June 11. However, The Telegraph reported on Monday that representatives from all 54 UEFA members "will be asked to snub Blatter's announcement."

The paper reported that while Blatter apparently has already collected enough votes to go into a fifth term, UEFA could decide to nominate a figurehead instead of Platini.

The former FIFA director Jerome Champagne has already announced his candidature. "A vote is a vote," the Frenchman told AP last week. "There have been a few outsiders, who turned into leaders," he added.

Speaking to SID, Champagne confirmed that he will not change his opinion should Blatter decide to stand for a fifth term.

"I don't run against persons, but for ideas, concepts, and visions," he said. "The FIFA congress has to decide about that in 2015. I will not renounce my candidature."

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