Michel Platini is not the right man for the FIFA presidency as he is merely a “protege” of Sepp Blatter, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein has warned.
UEFA chief Platini formally announced his candidacy for FIFA’s top job in July, after incumbent Blatter decided to step down in the aftermath of the corruption scandal that has engulfed world football’s governing body.
But Prince Ali, who was unsuccessful against Blatter in May’s presidential elections but hinted strongly that he will run again on Monday, believes the Frenchman would not oversee the changes needed to restore FIFA’s beleaguered reputation.
Speaking at the Soccerex convention in Manchester, Prince Ali said: “I have tremendous respect for Platini as both UEFA president and a footballer, but there’s a difference between UEFA and FIFA.
“Platini’s introduction into football governance was as a protege of Sepp Blatter. We need a new beginning.
“I’ve listened to him [Platini], but I want to know the future is different from the past and I’m not sure that’s the case. It’s nothing personal.”
On Blatter, Prince Ali rejected the suggestion that the Swiss may have been unaware of shady practices within his organisation, which resulted in the indictment of 14 individuals – including nine past and present FIFA officials – on charges of racketeering conspiracy and corruption.
“I think anybody in a position like that should take responsibility,” he added.
“He should have stepped down a while ago and if he had the best interests of football at heart, he would’ve done.”
When asked if he will enter the race for the FIFA presidency again, Prince Ali replied: “Stay tuned, you won’t have to wait long to find out.”