Liberia Football Association chairman Musa Bility has declared himself favourite to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president, dismissing any potential challenge from UEFA chief Michel Platini.
Blatter announced his intention to resign following the corruption scandal that tore through world football’s governing body and an election to appoint a new president has been set for February 26.
“How can you say that he [Platini] is the favourite?” Bility said in an interview with Omnisport. “I mean, if the favourite is a popular candidate, then you have to show me his popularity.
“I think that I am the favourite. I come from the most popular continent. I do represent the largest block in football where the underprivileged nations are.
“We need to bring the rest of the world into parity with Europe, where Mr Platini has been running football for the last eight years.
“I always ask the question: What is the difference if someone wants Blatter to go, why do you want to replace him with Platini? What message are you sending?
“Do we just want to get rid of Blatter and so that’s it? If that’s it then Platini is the candidate. But if not, if we’re looking for an honest and a fair beginning, then we have to start fresh with people with new thinking – as the [English] FA have said.”
Bility also leapt to the defence of Blatter and believes Platini should accept some responsibility for failing to spot the signs of corruption at FIFA.
“I do not believe that the current crisis in FIFA must define the legacy of Blatter,” he added. “If you look at FIFA and where he has taken the organisation from, it has been a long journey, and he has provided quality and good leadership.
“Obviously someone has to take responsibility for what is going wrong. I think he’s showing good character, and is showing leadership…in terms of responsibility and deciding whether or not he can be president.
“Having said that, he has a legacy that I believe must be respected and to come and brush that aside, we have to rethink that.
“There are serious problems in FIFA but, like I said, you cannot excuse Mr Platini from those problems, where was he? He was in the boardroom for eight years. Did you hear from him? Did he say anything?
“I mean, come on. All of these things that we are all crying about today – what has he said? He’s said Mr Blatter should resign, okay. Mr Blatter has resigned. Let’s start again new.
“It would be a travesty and it would be hypocrisy if Mr Blatter should be replaced by Mr Platini.”
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