UEFA president criticises Blatter ahead of football governing body’s elections this week.
UEFA head Michel Platini has confirmed his intention to stand for FIFA presidency and succeed Sepp Blatter, aiming to give the scandal-hit governing body “the dignity and the position it deserves.”
Platini, a FIFA vice-president, wrote to member federations in Europe on Wednesday saying he will stand in the election and is counting on their support.
“There are times in life when you have to take your destiny into your own hands,” Platini wrote.
“I am at one of those decisive moments, at a juncture in my life and in events that are shaping the future of FIFA.
“This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future.
“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 has been the obvious candidate to succeed Blatter, his mentor in FIFA politics. But a rift between the long-time allies deepened when Blatter broke a promise to leave office in 2015.
Platini chose last year not to oppose Blatter, who won a fifth presidential term on May 29.
Four days later, Blatter announced his resignation plans under pressure from American and Swiss federal investigations of corruption implicating FIFA.
Platini chose to run after getting encouragement from some of his fellow FIFA vice presidents last week in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Five of the six confederation leaders, including Platini, were there for the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw with only the North American regional body missing.
Platini then traveled to Philadelphia for the Gold Cup final on Sunday, and briefed CONCACAF leaders on his plans.
The FIFA election will take place during an extraordinary congress on February 26 next year.
Decision ‘not good for FIFA’
Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan has described Platini’s decision as “not good for FIFA”.
“Platini is not good for FIFA,” said Prince Ali, who also lost his place on FIFA’s executive committee in May, in a statement.
“Football’s fans and players deserve better.
“FIFA is engulfed in scandal. We must stop doing business as usual. The practice of back-room, under-the-table deals must end.”
Prince Ali, who is yet to announce whether he intends to run again, said he would be consulting individual football federations in the coming week “about what is in the best interests of football”.
“What is clear is that FIFA needs new, independent leadership, untainted by the practices of the past.”
The Jordanian withdrew from the previous election on May 29 after receiving 73 votes to Blatter’s 133 in the first round of voting.