Michel Platini, the president of Uefa, has announced he will launch an election campaign as he bids to become Sepp Blatter’s successor at Fifa.
An election will be held at an Extraordinary Congress on February 26 to decide Blatter’s successor after he announced he will step down as president of football’s world governing body.
Blatter’s decision to step down came in the wake of a corruption probe in which 14 people, including nine Fifa officials, were indicted on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and corruption.
Platini, who has been in charge of Uefa since 2007, has said that the announcement is a “decisive” moment in his life and pledges to act only “in the interests of football”.
“This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future,” he said in a letter to Fifa’s 209 member associations.
“I was also guided by the esteem, support and encouragement that many of you have shown me.
“There are times in life when you have to take your destiny into your own hands. I am at one of those decisive moments, at a juncture in my life and in events that are shaping the future of Fifa.”
And Platini has pledged to ensure the organisation changes its ways and becomes a respectable governing body that fans can have faith in.
“During this last half-century or so, Fifa has only had two presidents. This extreme stability is something of a paradox in a world that has experienced radical upheavals and in a sport that has undergone considerable economic change.
“However, recent events force the supreme governing body of world football to turn over a new leaf and rethink its governance.
“I am counting on your support and our common love of football so that, together, we can give the tens of millions of football fans the Fifa that they want: a Fifa that is exemplary, united and shows solidarity, a Fifa that is respected, liked and of the people.”
Former Brazil star Zico has also confirmed he would like to stand for election.