Michel Platini, the president of Uefa, has ruled out supporting Fifa president Sepp Blatter assuming the Swiss official runs for a fifth term in 2015.
The 78-year-old Blatter said when re-elected in 2011 that he would not be staying on beyond 2015 but has had a change of heart and reiterated at this week’s Fifa Congress in Sao Paulo that he was prepared to stay on for another four-year term.
This has not been well received by Uefa officials who believe change is necessary to enable Fifa to move on without the baggage of corruption allegations that have blighted the reputation of soccer’s world governing body in recent years.
Platini has backed Swiss official Blatter in the past, but this is no longer the case, with the former French international star saying today: "I do not support him, I am not in favour of him having a new term. I told him. I think Fifa needs a new breath of fresh air."
Platini has long been seen as a potential successor to Blatter, Fifa president for the last 16 years, but has said that he will not make a decision on whether to stand in next year’s election until after the month-long World Cup in Brazil, which starts today.
Platini said: "I have known him for a long time and I like him but I am not in favour of him having a new term. I supported him in 1998 but I do not support him in 2014. And in the future I will not support Mr Blatter."
Several prominent Uefa members, including vice-president David Gill of England and executive committee member Michael van Praag of the Netherlands this week called on Blatter to step down before next year’s election.
They cited the need for change as Fifa has faced various allegations of corruption in recent times, including those related to the controversial award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
However, Blatter was indignant at the stance taken by the European officials, saying: "That was the most disrespectful thing I have experienced in my entire life."Sportcal