Michel Platini Reveals He Won't Stand Against Sepp Blatter for FIFA Presidency

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2014

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 16:  UEFA President Michel Platini (L) and FIFA President Joseph Blatter look on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal at Arena Fonte Nova on June 16, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Martin Rose/Getty Images

Michel Platini has confirmed he won't stand against Sepp Blatter during the 2015 FIFA presidency elections. The UEFA president—who previously admitted via Sky Sports he won't support Blatter's attempts to gain his fifth consecutive election win—is looking to maintain his current role.

BBC Sport tweeted Platini's intentions:

FIFA executive committee member Michel D'Hooghe believes Platini's decision is a useful one for both organisations and should limit conflict between the two. D'Hooghe summarised his thoughts after Platini addressed a delegation of 54 European football associations in Monte Carlo, ahead of Thursday's Champions League draw.

"It was a very positive message - he said he would like to continue as UEFA president and I am pleased that it means that this time there will be no battle between FIFA and UEFA," said D'Hooghe, per Richard Conway of BBC Sport.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  UEFA President Michel Platini looks on prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Platini's unwillingness to go head-to-head with Blatter means FIFA deputy secretary Jerome Champagne remains the only other candidate.

Blatter stated his "mission is not finished" before revealing he will once again look to oversee football's governing body. Opinion of the controversial figure continues to split FIFA delegates, the press and public, but he should be considered the major favourite to retain his presidency when support is counted next year.

Much like the long-time FIFA overseer, Platini wishes to continue progressing his current work. Bryan Swanson of Sky Sports indicates this should be seen as the Frenchman's willingness to finish what he has started with UEFA, and not as an attempt to spite Blatter's tenure:

Platini took over the European organisation's leading role in January 2007. Like Blatter, many of his supported policies are open to criticism due to their ability to dramatically change the game. He continues to tinker with formats and financial structures to ensure football maximises its profitability.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 06:  UEFA president Michel Platini speaks as FIFA president Sepp Blatter (R) looks on during a dinner celebration to mark 100 years of Football in Azerbaijan on June 6, 2011 in Baku, Azerbaijan.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Most notably, he was a key figure in expanding Euro 2016 to a 24-team lineup, adding eight nations to an already packed schedule.

Henry Winter of The Telegraph calls this schedule a "television-shaped, politically driven" campaign that will devalue the importance of each fixture at the major tournament. Platini looks to capitalise on the commercial aspect of the game with such a plan, as he did by stretching the Champions League knockout stages over additional weeks to ensure more games receive prime television coverage.

Platini has also been forced to defend plans to stage Euro 2020 across Europe, rather than stick to single or dual-nation hosts. Such an idea could limit the atmosphere of the major tournament, while additional teams ensure the gap between favourites and underdogs will grow considerably.

ATHENS, GREECE - MAY 23:  Sepp Blatter (L) the FIFA president speaks with Michel Platini, the president of UEFA during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Liverpool and AC Milan at the Olympic Stadium on May 23, 2007 in Athens, Greece.  (Photo b
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Finances remain at the heart of many of Platini's key ideas. He implemented UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules to begin tracking the turnover of clubs competing in European competition from 2011-12. A failure to break even now sees costly fines, transfer caps and squad limits placed over offenders, as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain recently found out.

Another of Platini's beliefs may have aided the recent punishment of Barcelona. He called the acquisition of players under the age of 18 "child trafficking," claiming that paying a youngster to "kick a ball is not that different from paying a child to work on a production line in a factory," per the New York Times.

Barca were recently punished for the unlawful signing of 10 minors, which saw FIFA impose a year-long transfer ban on the Catalan club, per BBC Sport.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL -  JUNE 10: Former football player Michel Platini arrives at the opening ceremony of the 64th FIFA Congress at the Expocenter Transamerica  on June 10, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)
Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

Platini also supports the use of local players and believes the "6+5" rule should be utilised in Europe. This would see a minimum of six "homegrown" players lineup alongside five foreign stars, limiting the influence of the latter in divisions such as the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga.

The implementation of this could significantly lower interest in each of the top leagues, perhaps contrasting Platini's plans to monetise football to its maximum capability.

Blatter will certainly breathe a sigh of relief knowing he isn't to face such a high-profile candidate when presidency elections begin. Platini, like the FIFA leader, appears committed to leaving a considerable mark on the sport while his time in office runs.