Rome, Nov 10 (IANS) Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) general secretary Gianni Infantino declared on Tuesday that he would stop running for FIFA presidency if suspended president Michel Platini is allowed to stand for the top post of the global football body.
“Platini is my president and I’ve worked with him for nine years. It’s clear that I have his support, otherwise I would not be running,” Infantino was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
“And there is another thing that must be clarified,” he added. “My candidacy is not in opposition to Michel. If he is able to stand, I will withdraw. It’s a simple principle of loyalty. But right now I am a candidate 100 percent and I’m moving forward, not only for Europe but for world football.” Platini was questioned by Swiss investigators in September over a payment of two million Swiss frances (about $2 million) he received from FIFA in 2011 and has been suspended from all football activities for 90 days.
Seven candidates are in the running to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president with the election scheduled for February 26 next year.
The other five candidates are Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Musa Bility, Jerome Champagne, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale. However, Asian football head Sheikh Salman could also step aside should former French and Juventus superstar Platini emerge unscathed from the investigation.