Bartomeu pushes for Platini as Blatter’s replacement

Barcelona, July 16 (IANS) Spanish club FC Barcelona’s presidential candidate Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that if he wins on July 18, he would push for the current UEFA president Michelle Platini to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.

Bartomeu claimed to have even voiced his preference to Spain’s royal soccer federation president Angel Maria Villar, also a possible candidate to chair FIFA, reports Efe.

“I have an excellent relationship with Villar. I spoke with him and let him know our candidate in Platini. We want that he take the candidacy for the FIFA presidency,” the Barcelona president hopeful said on Wednesday.

Bartomeu also made it clear Barcelona has zero influence over FIFA, due in part to broken relations after a series of offences related to the transfer and registration of under-age players, for which FIFA sanctioned Barcelona from enlisting players until January 2016.

Bartomeu spoke of corruption in world football’s governing body FIFA under Blatter and insisted the club will not have relations with FIFA until its new leaders are chosen.

In June, Blatter announced his resignation from the FIFA presidency just four days after being re-elected to the position which he has held since 1998.

His resignation came in light of the arrests of seven senior FIFA officials at the request of the United States Justice Department, which requested their extradition on corruption charges.

After officially stepping down although still holding the post, Blatter announced an extraordinary congress, yet undated, to choose his successor.

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