FA chairman Greg Dyke has thrown his support behind Michel Platini's bid for the FIFA presidency - but warned him that he will have plenty on his plate should he be successful.
Platini, the current UEFA president, has promised to restore 'dignity' at world football’s governing body after he announced his intention to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president; Blatter has said he will step aside in February after 18 years at the helm.
In a letter sent to all 209 member associations on Wednesday, Platini has called for urgent reform as FIFA face two criminal investigations into alleged corruption.
Dyke said: "We support Michel Platini’s candidacy. We have a good relationship with him and hope he can gain the necessary global backing to lead a new FIFA during the most difficult period in its history.
"We understand there will be a number of candidates, which should result in a strong and healthy debate. However, we should not underestimate how challenging it will be for anyone to lead an organisation that has been so tainted. The whole structure of FIFA must be reviewed and fundamentally changed."
The FA's backing for Platinti's tilt for the top job is understood to be shared by four of the six global football confederations, who have told Platini they would support his candidacy; those four confederations - Europe, South America, Asia and CONCACAF - count for 144 votes out of 209.
Dyke is encouraged by the fact that David Gill is now a major player in the FIFA hierarchy, believing the former Manchester United supremo can help bring about meaningful reform in Zurich.
He said: "With FA vice-chairman David Gill newly-appointed to the FIFA executive committee and the level of worldwide scrutiny on the reform process, the opportunity is there to bring about positive change. While we have yet to see Mr Platini’s manifesto, we believe he will fully support an ongoing reform process.
"Mr Platini has been supportive of English football in recent years, not least when he visited St. George’s Park last autumn and we spoke at length about the game in this country, our strong leagues, great clubs and fantastic fans. We continue to have discussions with him on our concerns about dwindling opportunities for homegrown players – a concern he shares.
"We are pleased Mr Platini has decided to stand as a candidate and we look forward to supporting him."