Soccer

Platini backs Blatter's stance

2011-10-20 16:13
Michel Platini (File)

Zurich - UEFA leader Michel Platini believes FIFA President Sepp Blatter is "really motivated" to offer concrete reforms for cleaning up world football after a series of corruption scandals.

Blatter on Friday will announce the first stage of a wide-ranging reform plan he promised in June after a bribery case and wave of ethics allegations tarnished the image of football's world governing body.

"I get the impression that Mr Blatter is really motivated to change some things," Platini told reporters before attending a two-day session of FIFA's executive committee. "We hope that what Blatter promised us this time becomes fact, and not just ideas."

Platini said Blatter had not yet shared details of his proposed reforms.

"I don't know exactly point by point, because it is his job to organise that," said the former France playing great, who is the leading candidate to succeed Blatter in 2015.

It was also unclear what legal authority Blatter or FIFA's ruling panel has to change governance rules, or if some reforms need approval by all 208 football nations. Their next congress is in May in Budapest.

Still, Platini acknowledged that Europe will have a strong voice in deciding if Blatter succeeds with his program, which could include reopening past allegations of corruption which implicate some executive committee members.

UEFA has eight members on a likely 21-man FIFA panel sitting on Thursday, with three seats expected to be vacant.

Platini said his UEFA colleagues had a mandate from Europe's football federations to push for change.

"The mood is the same for all of us in Europe. Don't forget that in Cyprus (last month), the 53 national associations asked us to take care of what could happen in FIFA," he said.

The three absentees are American member Chuck Blazer, who remained in New York for health reasons; Worawi Makudi, detained in Thailand by severe flooding; while a Caribbean delegate has not been chosen to replace disgraced former FIFA vice president Jack Warner.

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