If Sepp Blatter is re-elected as FIFA’s president for a fifth-term on Friday, then the governing body of European soccer could walk away.
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Speaking in Zurich on Thursday ahead of the presidential election which Blatter is expected to win at a canter to secure his fifth-straight four-year term as FIFA president, UEFA’s leader Michel Platini was asked what his organization would do if the candidate they are backing, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, lost to Blatter.
UEFA had thought about boycotting the presidential election on Friday but has since decided to attend the vote and will back Prince Ali.
His answer perhaps gave the biggest indication yet that enough is enough after the shocking indictment from the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice amid allegations of long-term corruption by FIFA officials.
Platini confirmed that UEFA would discuss any notion to leave FIFA in June when officials meet in Berlin prior to the UEFA Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus.
“I think if Mr. Blatter wins then UEFA will meet in Berlin to possibly discuss the future of our relations with FIFA,” Platini said. “Since David Gill said he doesn’t want to participate in a new term of office for Blatter, maybe others will share that view. Others won’t want to be part of the Executive Committee. Any case, there will be a meeting in Berlin if Mr. Blatter wins… but I hope he will not win.”
Platini also confirmed that Prince Ali will receive the “overwhelming majority” of votes from UEFA’s 54 members when the presidential vote takes place on Friday. Blatter needs 105 votes from the 209 members associations and crucially has the full-backing of both the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) who hold 100 votes between them.
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Current FIFA Vice President David Gill, who has since come out and said he would refuse to be on Blatter’s Executive Committee if the 79-year-old is re-elected on Friday, backed Ali and so has the Chairman of the English FA, Greg Dyke.
There is growing support for Ali, but it may all be too little to late as Blatter refused to step down as president on Thursday after Platini pleaded with him to walk away from world soccer’s governing body just 24 hours before the presidential election.