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Michel Platini announces he will run for FIFA presidency

Morocco Soccer FIFA Platini

FILE.- In this Dec. 16, 2014 file photo FIFA president Sepp Blatter, right, and UEFA president Michel Platini talk before the semi final soccer match between Real Madrid and Cruz Azul at the Club World Cup soccer tournament in Marrakech, Morocco, Platini, a FIFA vice president, said Monday March 16, 2015 the governing body needs “new ideas, a new program” as longtime leader Sepp Blatter seeks a fifth term on May 29.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena,File)

AP

The current leader of UEFA has announced his intentions to lead world soccer’s governing body.

On Wednesday Michel Platini stated he would run for FIFA president after various reports suggested he would do so.

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With Sepp Blatter stepping down as FIFA’s president after 17 years in charge, one of his long-term friends Platini now seems to be the red-hot favorite to take charge as the former French national team captain is heavily backed by the vast majority of FIFA’s confederations across the globe.

The vote to decide Blatter’s successor will take place on Feb. 26 2016, and whoever wins will have a tough task to clean up world soccer’s governing body after the hugely damaging corruption scandal which has hammered FIFA this summer.

Nine FIFA officials have been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice into alleged corruption dating back over two decades and the Swiss authorities are also investigating corruption during the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar. As for Blatter, he is yet to be indicted or questioned but he has been at the center of criticism for years as several cases of corruption have taken place among his senior officials at FIFA.

Platini and other potential presidential candidates have to apply by Oct. 26 2015, with Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan another strong contender to replace Blatter as the Jordanian was the only candidate to run against Blatter in the May 29 election in 2015. Platini has been in charge of UEFA since 2007 and has held the top job in European soccer for three terms. He was unopposed during the last two elections.

As for Platini’s relationship with Blatter, he advised the outgoing FIFA president as a “presidential adviser” following France’s 1998 World Cup win and he also pleaded with Blatter to step down before the recent May 29 election, as just two days before the vote several top FIFA officials were arrested on corruption allegations during dawn raids in Zurich.

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