Asia chief calls for unity on FIFA, hails ‘unique’ Platini

Friday, 31 July 2015 00:26 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

 AFC head Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa arrives for a meeting with FIFA task force in DohaAsian Football Confederation (AFC) head Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa arrives for a meeting with the FIFA task force in Doha 24 February


Asia’s football chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa called for the region to unify behind one candidate in next year’s FIFA presidential election and stopped short of endorsing UEFA president Michel Platini for the job on Thursday.

Former France skipper Platini ended weeks of uncertainty on Wednesday when he announced that he wouالفرنسي بلاتيني سيرشح نفسه لرئاسة الفيفاld stand for the post with the mission of restoring “dignity” to soccer’s world government in the wake of a major corruption scandal.

South Korean Chung Mong-joon, a major power broker in Asian football, announced that he would also be joining the race soon after the Asian Football Confederation released their statement. [ID:nL3N10A1I]

Asia was a bedrock of support for outgoing president Sepp Blatter, who decided to stand down amid the worst crisis in FIFA’s history, and the number of votes from the region will make it highly influential in next February’s election.

“We have of course noted Michel Platini’s decision to stand, and he is certainly a unique candidate who would bring stability and a smooth transition to normality for FIFA in this difficult situation,” the AFC president said in a media release.

“Yet we should also remember that the FIFA president is only one part of FIFA, which is why it is so important to get the reforms right as well.

“Everybody accepts the need for change in FIFA, and in addition to changing the president much of the rest of FIFA’s organisation and the way it functions need to be modernised as well.

“FIFA also needs someone who can take the best of the past, fuse it with new ideas, and so take the organisation into the future.”