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Platini Calls On Blatter To Step Down, UEFA To Attend FIFA Congress

Zurich (Alliance News) - UEFA president Michel Platini has called on FIFA president Joseph ...

Alliance News 28 May, 2015 | 2:26PM
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Zurich (Alliance News) - UEFA president Michel Platini has called on FIFA president Joseph Blatter to step down and said most of the European body would back Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein in Friday's presidential election.

"FIFA is no longer strong so many in Eurpoe will vote for Prince Ali," Platini said in a media conference Thursday.

"Sepp, I like to speak to you man to man, face to face. Listen we started together, now I am asking you to leave FIFA because we give a terrible image and this can't go on."

The European associations will attend the Congress despite a suggestion Wednesday that UEFA could boycott.

"Boycotting is not the solution, it never has been," German football league (DFL) president Reinhard Rauball said. "What is happening here is an absolute disaster. We need to bring about change and that can happen only if we vote for Prince Ali (Bin Al Hussein)."

The Jordanian Prince Ali is the only challenger to incumbent Blatter in the election scheduled for Friday. UEFA had previously suggested a delay but this proposal was not backed by other confederations.

"There are important issues (to be discussed)," Netherlands association president Michael Van Praag said. "The Isreal-Palestinian issue. We have to be there.

"And secondly after the speech of Prince Ali, and my speech, and that of president Platini, we have decided to stand behind Prince Ali.

"I wouldn't say unanimously but with a big, big, big majority. So we will have a vote tomorrow."

Van Praag, along with former Portugal star Luis Figo, had originally stood for FIFA president before withdrawing in an attempt to unite associations behind Prince Ali as an alternative to the 79-year-old Blatter.

Blatter had previously been expected to comfortably win a fifth term but the Congress has been thrown into chaos following the arrest of seven officials, including two FIFA vice-presidents, in a US-led corruption probe on Wednesday, and a separate Swiss probe on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host election.

"Of course I think he (Blatter) should step down," Van Praag said. "I was already of that opinion last year in Sao Paulo. I tried to convince him in January but he didn't do it."

Copyright dpa

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