Five quotes on day UEFA supremo Michel Platini announced his decison to be a candidate for the FIFA presidential election to be held on February 26 next year:
“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.”
Greg Dyke, chairman of the Football Association and one of the most vocal long-time critics of Sepp Blatter:
“We support Michel Platini’s candidacy. We have a good relationship with him and hope he can gain the necessary global backing to lead a new FIFA during the most difficult period in its history. While we have yet to see Mr Platini’s manifesto, we believe he will fully support an ongoing reform process.”
Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation and who ignored Platini’s recommendation to support Prince Ali bin Al Hussein in May’s presidential election and voted for Blatter instead:
“He will win in the first round with a huge majority, I am certain of that. He deserves the FIFA post and FIFA needs him. He is not a president of the big clubs or of the small ones, or of the small nations nor of the big ones. He knows how to unite people. It is his destiny.”
Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, a former FIFA vice-president who — supported by Platini — stood against Blatter and won enough votes to force a second round of voting; instead he decided to step aside but looks likely to stand again:
“Platini is not good for FIFA. Footballa s fans and players deserve better. What is clear is that FIFA needs new, independent leadership, untainted by the practices of the past”.
Musa Bility, president of the Liberian Football Federation and a candidate for the FIFA presidency; only the second African — CAF president Issa Hayatou having failed to dislodge Blatter in the 2002 election despite UEFA backing — to bid for the role.
“When did Platini start being vocal about reform? Has he ever done that in the Fifa board room?. Everything that we are trying to change today he has supported. Platini’s vote is right next to Blatter’s vote. Why should we replace Blatter? If you bring in Platini there’s no need to replace Blatter.”