Michel Platini has confirmed that he will stand as a candidate in next year’s FIFA presidential election.
The France and Juventus legend has spent eight years as UEFA president since succeeding Lennart Johansson and is now seeking to replace Sepp Blatter in the top job at FIFA.
In a letter sent to the presidents and general secretaries of FIFA’s member associations, published on UEFA’s official website, Platini said: “This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future.
“I was also guided by the esteem, support and encouragement that many of you have shown me.
“There are times in life when you have to take your destiny into your own hands. I am at one of those decisive moments, at a juncture in my life and in events that are shaping the future of FIFA.
“During this last half-century or so, FIFA has only had two presidents. This extreme stability is something of a paradox in a world that has experienced radical upheavals and in a sport that has undergone considerable economic change.
“However, recent events force the supreme governing body of world football to turn over a new leaf and rethink its governance.
“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.”
Blatter announced last month that he will end his long reign and Platini, 60, emerged as a leading candidate to replace the Swiss.
Outgoing president Blatter revealed his decision to resign amid the damaging corruption scandal which has engulfed FIFA.
Reports on Tuesday suggested Platini has gained the support of Europe, South America (CONMEBOL), North, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) and Asia (AFC), with the election date set for February 26.
Liberia Football Association chairman Musa Bility has also thrown his hat into the ring for the post, claiming he is the favourite with the backing of the African continent behind him.
No accusations of wrongdoing have been made towards Blatter, who has been in charge of the world game’s governing body since 1998.
A new FIFA president will be elected at an Extraordinary Congress on February 26.
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