Skip to content

Michel Platini calls off UEFA meeting after Sepp Blatter quits

UEFA president Michel Platini (l) with his FIFA counterpart Sepp Blatter during last year's World Cup in Brazil
Image: UEFA president Michel Platini with Sepp Blatter at last year's World Cup in Brazil

UEFA president Michel Platini has postponed a planned meeting between members of the governing body in light of Sepp Blatter announcing he intends to resign the FIFA presidency.

European members had been due to hold discussions about Blatter’s recent re-election at Saturday’s Champions League final in Berlin between Barcelona and Juventus.

However, since Blatter announced his resignation on Tuesday, Platini has released a statement announcing UEFA would no longer hold discussions due to the news and the "unpredictable nature" of US criminal investigations into FIFA.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sepp Blatter has announced he is to resign as president of FIFA and an election will be held to decide his successor.

Platini said: "It is with great concern that I, like most football fans around the world, have been following the daily developments regarding the investigations pertaining to FIFA corruption matters.

"Due to yesterday’s announcement and the uncertain and unpredictable nature of the investigations, I have decided that it would be more appropriate to postpone the meeting that was announced last week, and which could have taken place in Berlin this weekend.

"Considering new information is revealed every day, I believe it is wiser to take time to assess the situation, so together we can take a position on this issue. There will be other opportunities for us to meet in the coming weeks and by then hopefully more light will have been shed on this matter.

A lot of credible candidates will come out and actually, for the first time, we’ll probably see a proper election where people can stand up
Mark Palios

"During the weekend in Berlin, we will aim to focus our attention on one of many great occasions at UEFA, the UEFA Champions League final."

More from Fifa Crisis

Speculation has turned to who could replace Blatter at the head of FIFA, with Brazil legend Zico considering standing for the post while South Korea’s Chung Mong-joon, a former member of FIFA's Executive Committee and a fierce Blatter critic, has said he will “carefully consider” running.

Platini has also been linked with the role, but former Football Association chief Mark Palios told Sky Sports News HQ that a European candidate may struggle to win over Blatter’s loyal followers after they were seen as the biggest critics of the 79-year-old’s tenure.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Chief News Reporter Bryan Swanson on the latest on Sepp Blatter's replacement

Palios said: "I think the difficulty with Platini is, he is a European so potentially there is a still a bit of animosity towards the Europeans.

"Blatter was certainly seen as the candidate who weakened the stranglehold of the Europeans and the South Americans on world football and broadened it out and put it within reach and grasp of the nations on the Asian continent and in Africa and controversially took the World Cup to the Middle East as well.

"So there may be a bit of 'afters' with people having seen the president that they voted for being taken away. It will be interesting to see whether politics will allow a European to stand and to be a credible candidate and potentially win the election."

Palios believes that more candidates for the position will appear now that the once seemingly-invincible Blatter has stepped down.

He added: "There is a myriad of people who will come out of the woodwork because nobody would put their name on the table if Blatter was running and with Blatter running, of course, you had the processions that we’ve had in the recent past.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The head of Japan's unsuccessful 2022 World Cup bid says they may push for a revote

"So a lot of credible candidates will come out and actually, for the first time, we’ll probably see a proper election where people can stand up, they can put out their manifesto and they can talk about the manifesto which is why I actually think you need a bit of time because it’s not as if we’ve had a whole host of people who were running and were potential candidates.

"In politics you would see potential candidates, they would be in the public eye and you would see them. It wasn’t actually the best thing to do, it could have been a career-limiting move if you were seen as feasible to replace Blatter.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Scottish Chief Executive Gordon Smith thinks Michel Platini could struggle for worldwide support if he ran for the FIFA Presidency.

"What he (Blatter) has done in the past is appear to have led people along with promises that they can be the next candidate. He seemed to anoint Platini at one stage then moved against it. He previously had been seen to anoint (Mohamed) bin Hammam then of course famously moved against that and we all know how that ended up, so I think that is his style.

"People just wouldn’t put their heads above the parapets or be seen to be a competitor so we’ll have to wait and see what happens over the next few months."

Around Sky