Michel Platini confirms he will run for FIFA presidency
UEFA president Michel Platini has confirmed he intends to run for the FIFA presidency next year.
Platini, 60, has held the top job at European football's governing body since 2007 and has received widespread backing to challenge for the FIFA role.
"There are times in life when you have to take your destiny into your own hands," he said on the UEFA website. "I am at one of those decisive moments, at a juncture in my life and in events that are shaping the future of FIFA."
Sepp Blatter has held the FIFA presidency since 1998, but he announced in June that he was resigning just days after being re-elected amid the corruption scandal that has engulfed world football's governing body.
Blatter will be replaced at an election on Feb. 26 and any candidates must confirm their intention to stand by Oct. 26.
Platini has declared that he will be among the challengers and said in a letter to FIFA's 209 member associations: "This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future. I was also guided by the esteem, support and encouragement that many of you have shown me."
He said he was standing as someone "with enthusiasm and conviction, but also with the humility of someone who knows that he cannot succeed on his own," and added: "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."
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There have been calls for terms limits to be introduced to the FIFA presidency, and former France international Platini said: "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. However, recent events force the supreme governing body of world football to turn over a new leaf and rethink its governance."
Platini has introduced a number of notable changes to the game in his time in charge of European football's governing body.
He pioneered financial fair play, which is designed to ensure club sides in UEFA competitions do not overspend, as well as expanding the European Championship from 16 to 24 teams.
He has introduced goal-line officials to assist referees, although he has said FIFA limits their effectiveness, and had been a prominent opponent of technology before it emerged last year that he had changed his opinion.
He has also confirmed that he voted for Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and said in September that he remained convinced he had made "the right decision" despite the controversy over the two host nations.
Platini is regarded as one of the game's finest-ever footballers, securing the Ballon d'Or award three times as well as winning the 1984 European Championship with France and 1985 European Cup with Juventus.