Michel Platini: Uefa still supports president's Fifa bid

Featured Michel Platini: Uefa still supports president's Fifa bid

Uefa president Michel Platini still has the support of European football's governing body in his bid to become Fifa president, despite concerns over a £1.35m payment from Sepp Blatter.

Outgoing Fifa boss Blatter is under criminal investigation over the 2011 payment, while Platini has also been questioned - they deny any wrongdoing.

Uefa's 54 members met in Switzerland on Thursday to discuss the issue.

Platini should have the chance "to clear his name", a Uefa statement said.

It also called for investigators to "work rapidly" and decide "on the merits of the case by, at the latest, mid-November 2015".

Outside the meeting reporters were told by Austrian soccer federation president Leo Windtner that all 54 member nations "fully support" their president.

The statement issued shortly afterwards confirmed: "We support Michel Platini's right to a due process and a fair trial and to the opportunity to clear his name."

However, one Uefa source told the BBC there was a clear split between those members who continue to back Platini and those who want "to consider a plan B".

Michael Van Praag, head of the Dutch FA, is being considered as an alternative candidate to Platini by some member associations - who, the BBC has learned, could hold a meeting on Monday or Tuesday to discuss that option.

'Mr Platini is your campaign over?'

Platini is also a vice-president of world governing body Fifa, but was last week suspended from all football for 90 days by the organisation while it investigates the payment from Blatter, 79 - who was also suspended.

The absence of a written contract detailing the payment had caused several countries to reconsider backing Platini in February's Fifa presidential elections.

Asked by BBC Sport about the payment and his future, before Thursday's emergency meeting, Platini refused to comment.

The former European footballer of the year has said he accepted the sum as delayed payment for work carried out as Blatter's adviser between 1998 and 2002.

But the nine-year delay in receiving the rest of the payment has caused concern for some Uefa members.

Issa Hayatou (left) is standing in for the suspended Sepp Blatter
Issa Hayatou (left) is standing in for the suspended Sepp Blatter

An unprecedented situation

Earlier on Thursday, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan revealed he had officially submitted his candidature for the Fifa presidency, after insisting February's election should proceed as planned.

It came on the same day that acting Fifa president Issa Hayatou, who is standing in for the suspended Blatter, arrived in Zurich to commence his role. In an address, he told the organisation's staff they are in "an unprecedented situation".

He added: "We remain focused on the necessary reform process, the presidential election and on supporting the current investigations. To restore public trust is a crucial objective."

A Fifa spokesman said the Cameroonian, who heads the African football confederation (CAF), was updated on "the main administrational matters" - such as the forthcoming Under-17 World Cup and Fifa Club World Cup tournaments.

Acting secretary general Markus Kattner, who provided the update, is himself standing in for the suspended Jerome Valcke, who is banned pending the outcome of another corruption probe.

Meanwhile, the Fifa reform committee that was set up following the arrest and indictment of seven Fifa officials in Zurich earlier this year is to hold its second meeting on Friday.

One of those seven, former Nicaraguan Football Federation president Julio Rocha, had his extradition to the United States approved by Swiss authorities on Thursday, although he has 30 days to appeal against the decision.

Last modified onThursday, 15 October 2015 14:06

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