Soccer

Platini to challenge Blatter?

2011-03-03 08:10
Michel Platini (AFP)

Singapore - Brazilian soccer great Pele says UEFA president Michel Platini is well-placed to challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

"Maybe Platini will run for that," Pele said at a breakfast organised by the American chamber of commerce on Thursday in Singapore. "Platini is already president of UEFA and has a good opportunity."

Platini and Mohamed bin Hammam, a Qatari who leads the Asian Football Confederation, are considered the two strongest potential candidates to take on Blatter, who is seeking election to a fourth four-year term on June 1 as head of football's world governing body. Neither Platini nor bin Hammam have confirmed they will stand for the post.

Pele also ruled out any ambitions on his part to become FIFA president.

Blatter's leadership came under criticism after FIFA last year selected Russia to host the 2018 Soccer World Cup and Qatar for 2022.

"They say there was a little controversy about buying votes, but I wasn't there," said the 70-year-old Pele, who serves on FIFA's Football Committee with other retired stars including Frank Beckenbauer, Bobby Charlton and George Weah.

"We won very clean for the World Cup in Brazil, but this World Cup (selection), I think there was a big problem there," he said.

Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup, and Pele reiterated concerns that the building of infrastructure for the tournament is behind schedule.

"We have a little problem with construction, communication, airports," Pele said. "We have some political problems, which makes it a little complicated to do construction.

"Even in Sao Paulo, they haven't started the stadium because they have a political problem. This is not good for us."

Pele is in Asia to promote the rebirth of the New York Cosmos, a team he played for in the 1970s. Pele is honorary president of the Cosmos, who are bidding to join America's Major League Soccer from 2014.


Read more on:    uefa  |  fifa  |  michel platini
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