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Michel Platini announces he will run to replace Sepp Blatter as Fifa president

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Baku, July 29 AZERTAC

Michel Platini has announced he will run to replace Sepp Blatter as the Fifa president in next February's election.

According to the Guardian, Platini, the Uefa president, held talks with football powerbrokers at the 2018 World Cup draw in St Petersburg last weekend and is now confident he has the support necessary to win.

"This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future. I was also guided by the esteem, support and encouragement that many of you have shown me," Platini said in a statement, having written to all 209 member associations of Fifa to inform them of his intentions to stand.

"There are times in life when you have to take your destiny into your own hands. I am at one of those decisive moments, at a juncture in my life and in events that are shaping the future of Fifa."

The election to succeed Blatter will take place on 26 February in Zurich. The 60-year-old Platini is the favourite to succeed the Swiss after gaining the backing of four of the six Fifa confederations, including the powerful Asia bloc. The Football Association is expected to back him along with most, if not all, countries in Europe.

Platini has publicly stated he voted for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, and although the award of that tournament to the Gulf state has caused huge controversy, in Fifa terms his backing for Qatar is likely to be an advantage.

Platini has been the Uefa president since 2007 and was a supporter of Blatter in the past, but fell out with him when the 79-year-old backtracked on his 2011 promise to step down at the end of his fourth term in office. Blatter was re-elected in May, but within four days had announced he would quit after Fifa's involvement in payments to officials was uncovered. All nominations for the election have to be submitted by 26 October.

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