Nyon - UEFA's crisis talks called to
discuss the plight of its suspended president got underway on Thursday in Nyon.
The emergency meeting at the Swiss
headquarters of European football's ruling body will give Platini a strong
indication of the level of support he can count on in his bid to succeed Sepp
Blatter as president of FIFA.
The Frenchman was the frontrunner to take
control of football's scandal-tainted governing body until last week's 90-day
Platini is being investigated over a
contentious $2 million payment made to him by Blatter in 2011 for consultancy
work performed years earlier.
The former France and Juventus star is not
allowed to attend the meeting of the body's 54 member unions.
Thursday's proceedings began with a meeting
of UEFA's executive committee with Platini's place at the head of the table
assumed by vice-president Angel Maria Villar Llona of Spain.
It is expected to run until 14:00 and be
followed by a full emergency meeting for all UEFA's member federations.
UEFA's secretary general Gianni Infantino
is then due to hold a press conference on the outcome of the day's discussions.
Top of UEFA's agenda is "the question
of Michel Platini's suspension and the eventual request to postpone FIFA's
presidential election", a UEFA source said.
German Football Federation boss Wolfgang
Niersbach says the crisis talks will help determine whether or not Platini
could maintain his candidature to replace Blatter as FIFA's head in February's
elections with the corruption investigation hanging over his head.
He is concerned Platini's situation could
drag UEFA into the FIFA corruption scandal.
"We have to avoid that at all costs.
We must protect UEFA," he told the Die Zeit newspaper.
The 60-year-old Platini denies any
wrongdoing. He describes the charges as "farcical" and is appealing
Hours before UEFA's meeting began Prince
Ali bin al Hussein, Platini's main rival to succeed Blatter, formally
registered his candidacy for next year's election to run world football's
scandal-hit governing body.