this photo, UEFA President Michel Platini gestures
during a press conference, one day prior to the UEFA
EURO 2016 qualifying draw in Nice, southeastern
France. Michel Platini will run for FIFA president and
plans to announce his intentions this week. Two
officials familiar with Platini's plans tell The
Associated Press that the FIFA vice president has made
a decision to try to succeed Sepp Blatter.
NYON, Switzerland — Michel
Platini has launched his campaign to succeed Sepp Blatter as
FIFA president, aiming to give the scandal-hit governing
body "the dignity and the position it deserves."
Platini, the UEFA president
and a FIFA vice president, wrote to member federations in
Europe on Wednesday saying he will stand in the election and
is counting on their support.
The FIFA election is on Feb.
26 and would-be candidates must apply by Oct. 26.
"There are times in life
when you have to take your destiny into your own
hands," Platini wrote. "I am at one of those
decisive moments, at a juncture in my life and in events
that are shaping the future of FIFA."
Platini has for years been
the obvious candidate to succeed Blatter, his mentor in FIFA
politics. But a rift between the long-time allies deepened
when Blatter broke a promise to leave office in 2015.
Platini chose last year not
to oppose Blatter, who won a fifth presidential term on May
29. Four days later, Blatter announced his resignation plans
under pressure from American and Swiss federal
investigations of corruption implicating FIFA.
"However, recent events
force the supreme governing body of world football to turn
over a new leaf and rethink its governance," Platini
Platini chose to run after
getting encouragement from some of his fellow FIFA vice
presidents last week in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Five of the six confederation
leaders, including Platini, were there for the 2018 World
Cup qualifying draw with only the North American regional
Platini then traveled to
Philadelphia for the Gold Cup final on Sunday, and briefed
CONCACAF leaders on his plans. They included FIFA executive
committee colleague Sunil Gulati, the U.S. Soccer Federation
The U.S. body was among the
five FIFA members which nominated Prince Ali bin al-Hussein
to challenge Blatter two months ago. The Jordanian prince
was publicly supported by Platini but lost 133-73.