Frenchman Michel Platini has announced he will not challenge Sepp Blatter in next year’s FIFA presidential elections.
The 59-year old UEFA chief said he wants to concentrate on leading European football’s governing body instead and will not support Blatter in his bid for re-election.
The former France international said: “I will not support him, I know it, I have looked him in the eye and said it. I have said since 1998 that I would support him and now I have said, ‘look, I won’t support you anymore’. I think we need some fresh air. I am not a candidate for FIFA myself, so if there is someone who brings something new we will hear them out and we will see what the associations around the world will decide.”
Platini has presided over UEFA since 2007 and his decision not to challenge the Swiss for the most powerful role in world football leaves just one candidate – former FIFA deputy secretary general Jerome Champagne.