UEFA chief Platini hopes ‘new leadership’ will solve FIFA’s woes

Madrid, July 21 (IANS) European football’s governing body UEFA president Michel Platini has underlined the urgent need for reform within FIFA, hoping the “new leadership” will solve the world football body’s troubles.

FIFA is set to elect a new president at its Extraordinary Committee meeting on February 26 next year. Incumbent Sepp Blatter announced on Monday that he will not stand in the FIFA presidential election.

He earlier stepped down from his post despite getting re-elected to the chair for a fifth four-year term after getting embroiled in a global corruption scandal. Blatter has been the FIFA president since 1998, reports Xinhua.

“We need to reform FIFA and we need to do it now,” Platini said in a statement on Monday.

“Regarding the election, we now have a concrete date which means we can look forward to new leadership which will surely bring with it new ideas and new solutions.”

Platini went to call it an “exciting time for FIFA” and a time when meaningful work can be done to improve and restructure the international organisation in the interest of the game.

“Along with the rest of FIFA’s Executive Committee, I feel that the creation of a task force with internal and external members to deal specifically with reforms is an important step towards improving overall processes and transparency within the organization,” the UEFA head added.

“We must now make sure that the reforms outlined today will be undertaken in a swift and effective manner. As I have said various times in the recent past, we need to reform FIFA and we need to do it now.”

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been under scrutiny since May 27 when seven FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich after attending the FIFA Congress.

Blatter then announced his resignation on June 2 saying he would organise new elections and promised that he would not run for the position.

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