Michel Platini, Uefa President has vowed that Europe will vote against incumbent FIFA president, Joseph Sepp Blatter on Friday in Zurich.
An emotional Platini has revealed that he begged Blatter to step down as Fifa president.
The game’s governing body is reeling after the arrest of several officials on Wednesday as part of an FBI-led investigation into corruption and money-laundering dating back to 1991.
Blatter has not been implicated in the enquiry but there have been widespread calls for the Swiss to resign given that it has been alleged by the US Justice Department that corruption was widespread within Fifa.
Indeed, Platini admitted that he tried to persuade all 54 of his organisation’s members to vote against Blatter after the 79-year-old ignored his plea to walk away for the good of the game.
The former France international told reporters on Thursday: “I told him, ‘Sepp, I’d like to speak to you man to man, face to face.’ He said, ‘It’s too late. I can’t all of a sudden leave when congress starts this afternoon.’
“I told Sepp Blatter to leave, to step down, because he is giving Fifa a terrible image.
“It’s not easy to tell a friend that he must leave but that is the way history is going.
“I’m saying this with sadness, with tears in my eyes. There have been too many scandals.”
Ask whether he believed that Blatter would have quit his post had he been requested to do so earlier, Platini replied: “Yes. Yes, yes. I believe so, but I couldn’t have asked him a few weeks ago because what happened happened yesterday.”
As well as the arrest of Fifa officials by US authorities on Wednesday, Swiss officials also seized electronic data from Fifa premises as part of a separate investigation into allegations of corruption relating to the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.
Platini admitted that European countries could choose to boycott the tournaments depending on the findings of the enquiry: “Uefa remains open to all options…
“Sometimes I have stomach troubles and that relates to Fifa problems.
“Honestly, myself as a lover of Fifa, I’m a great admirer of its history, I really don’t know where to put myself.
“I have had enough. Enough is enough. Too much is too much.
“Today we had a meeting of the 54 members. Tomorrow [Friday], when it comes to the election of the presidency, a very big majority of European national associations will vote Prince Ali.
“People don’t want [Blatter] anymore and I don’t want him anymore either.
“I have always said they want Fifa to be strong and Fifa is no longer strong.
“I am still trying to convince some [European football associations] who are not totally convinced.”
However, Platini admitted that all of Uefa’s representatives on the Fifa executive committee will partake in a boycott if Blatter is re-elected.
The Juventus icon added, though, that he now believes for the first time that Blatter’s 27-year reign at the head of the global game could be about to come to an end.
“Before what happened yesterday [Wednesday], I would have thought not,” Platini added. “But enough is enough. People have really had enough.
“I think there will be a lot of changes but we’re going to continue working this evening.
“Prince Ali is young, he’s ambitious and that’s why I support him. He can do some good, he doesn’t need money.
“Things are a bit complicated in his region because he doesn’t have the support of his region but he’s a man that can do a lot of good.”
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