Frenchman Platini urged to take over at Fifa

After Sepp Blatter’s shock resignation as the President of Fifa, Frenchman Michel Platini, the current head of Uefa, is being urged to take over at the helm.

Frenchman Platini urged to take over at Fifa
Will Platini take over from Sepp Blatter? Does he even want to? Photo: AFP

He fought on for a few days but in the end Sepp Blatter took the advice of Michel Platini.

The Frenchman, who is currently in charge of European football governing body Uefa, had urged Blatter to resign as the latest scandal engulfed Fifa last week.

“I told him to step down from Fifa because its image is bad and we cannot continue like that. He told me it was too late,” Platini added.

But it seemed it wasn’t too late and Blatter finally succumbed to the pressure as reports that the FBI probe into corruption at Fifa is tightening the net around him.

And now Platini is being urged by French football chiefs to take over and restore some semblance of order to Fifa.

“We need to find the best possible candidate and for me its Michel Platini, who has led Uefa in remarkable fashion,” said Noël le Gräet, head of the French Football Federation, adding that the Frenchman was the only figure with the global stature to take over.

“He's been at the head of Uefa for eight years, which is not a small organisation. On a global level I don't see another candidate with a comparable capacity for such a post,” he added.

“If he wants it, it's now or never,” said Le Graët. 

Frédéric Thiriez, the boss of France’s football league added “Michel would be the ideal president for Fifa.”

France’s minister of sport Patrick Kanner also urged Platini to throw his hat into the ring.

“Platini would be an excellent president. He has all the qualities but it’s for him to judge whether he’s the right candidate to get the institution of Fifa back on the rails,” said Kanner.

Despite the support, Platini himself is thought to be less than keen to take over from Blater, especially with Fifa in such a mess.

In a previous interview with the French press, he dismissed the possibility of putting his name forward, suggesting he would prefer to stay on as head of Uefa.

“Football is in Europe and I am a football man.”

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French football’s HQ raided as part of probe into Blatter

The headquarters of France's football chiefs was raided as part of the ongoing probe into corruption at FIFA and the criminal investigation targeting Sepp Blatter.

French football's HQ raided as part of probe into Blatter
Photo: AFP

French authorities have searched the Paris offices of the French Football Federation in connection with Switzerland's criminal investigation targeting former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the Swiss attorney general said Wednesday.

Documents in connection with Blatter's infamous 2.0 million Swiss franc ($2.0 million, 1.8 million euros) payment to the fallen UEFA president Michel Platini “were seized” in the search carried out on Tuesday, Switzerland's top prosecutor said in a statement.

The statement said it asked France for cooperation in the investigation on January 14th.

“Pursuant to that request… and in close coordination with the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG), the French Financial Prosecution Office proceeded yesterday to a search of the offices of the French Football Federation (FFF) in Paris,” the statement said.

It added that the search was “in connection with the criminal proceedings against Mr. Joseph Blatter.”

Switzerland opened an investigation against Blatter in September for alleged criminal mismanagement during his tenure as FIFA's president.

It also suspected Blatter of making a payment that was “disloyal” to FIFA.

That payment was the 2.0 million Swiss francs Blatter authorised to Platini in 2011, reportedly for consulting work the Frenchman performed a decade earlier.

Doubts surrounding that payment led FIFA's ethics judges to ban both Blatter and Platini from football for six years.

In the Swiss case, Platini has been questioned in a status that falls between a witness and an accused.

“Mr. Michel Platini's status in the proceedings has remained unchanged,” the OAG statement said.