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Platini Will Not Run for FIFA Presidency

  • VOA News

FILE - UEFA President Michel Platini is seen getting into a car in a Jan. 19, 2015, photo.

Michel Platini, once seen as a likely successor to deposed FIFA president Sepp Blatter, has announced he will not try to run in the February 26 election for the presidency of the world body governing soccer.

Platini, the suspended president of the group governing European football, told reporters for the Associated Press and L'Equipe Thursday that even if he succeeds in getting his eight-year ban from professional football overturned, he would not have enough time to campaign effectively before the election.

"The timing is not good for me," he said. "I don't have the means to fight on equal terms with the other candidates."

Platini's bid to succeed Blatter was derailed last year when both men were charged with corruption over a $2 million payment Blatter made to Platini in 2011. Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the payment.

Both men, who have denied any wrongdoing, are expected to appeal to the FIFA appeals committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

FIFA has been embroiled in scandal after 14 FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich in May and charged in the United States with nearly 50 counts of corruption, including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

Swiss officials have also opened a separate criminal investigation involving FIFA's selection of Russia and Qatar to host the World Cup tournaments in 2018 and 2022 respectively.