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Monday 5 December 2016

Michel Platini set to run for FIFA presidency

UEFA President Michel Platini watches the preliminary draw for the 2018 soccer World Cup in Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia
UEFA President Michel Platini watches the preliminary draw for the 2018 soccer World Cup in Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia

Michel Platini is set to declare he will run for the FIFA presidency this week and an announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

Platini, the UEFA president, held further talks with football powerbrokers at the 2018 World Cup draw in St Petersburg at the weekend and is now confident he has the support necessary to win.

It is understood a letter to national associations declaring his intentions has already been prepared ready to send out when he announces his candidacy.

READ MORE: Putin: Sepp Blatter deserves the Nobel prize for FIFA work

The election to succeed Sepp Blatter will take place on February 26 in Zurich.

The 60-year-old Platini is the favourite to succeed Blatter in the election on February 26 after gaining the backing of four of the six FIFA confederations, including the powerful Asia bloc.

Platini has publicly stated he voted for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, and although the award of that tournament to the Gulf state has caused huge controversy, in FIFA terms his backing for Qatar is likely to be an advantage.

A credible opponent to Platini has yet to emerge - former Argentina player Diego Maradona and ex-Brazil player Zico have both stated they want to stand, but neither would command significant support.

Other names in the frame include Chung Mong-joon, a former FIFA vice-president from South Korea, and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, who was beaten by Blatter in the election in May. Both of those however would suffer from the leaders of the Asian Football Confederation having already pledged to give their support to Platini.

If Platini is successful, the question of who would take over the UEFA presidency would then arise. England's David Gill, who sits on FIFA and UEFA's executive committees, is very unlikely to want the position which leaves Germany's Wolfgang Niersbach as the favourite.

Spain's Angel Villar Llona is understood to still harbour ambitions for the UEFA presidency but he is still under investigation by FIFA's ethics committee over Spain's bid for the 2018

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