Race to lead Fifa looks set to heat up

Race to lead Fifa looks set to heat up
In the running? Football legend Platini is the best known of the potential runners. But he has given no sign of his intentions.

ZURICH - Sepp Blatter's shock resignation opened up a new race yesterday to become president of Fifa, with a mission to reform football's scandal-tainted world body.

The names of Uefa president Michel Platini, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein - who challenged Blatter in a vote on Friday - and Portuguese football great Luis Figo were immediately pushed forward.

They were quickly joined in the mix by legendary Brazilian midfielder Zico and highly experienced South Korean official Chung Mong Joon, both of whom said they were considering making a run at the job.

But no one made an official declaration.

"There will be jostling for position. The election will take time," commented one Fifa executive member in the hours after Blatter, 79, gave in to pressure to step down over a bribery scandal that has hit the football body.

French football legend-turned-politician Platini is the best known of the potential runners.

The 59-year-old, three-time winner of the Ballon d'Or established his administrator credentials as organiser of the 1998 World Cup. He has headed Uefa since 2007.

Platini decided last year not to run against Blatter in the election on Friday. But he did not rule out an attempt in 2019.

Platini's own re-election in April to a new term in charge of the wealthiest and most powerful of football's regional confederations could also hold him back from a bid for Fifa.

He praised the "difficult" and "brave" decision by Blatter to stand down. But he gave no sign of his own intentions.

Jordan's Prince Ali - who was a Fifa vice-president until Friday, when he lost the presidential election to Blatter - made it known through a spokesman that he is "ready" for football's top job.

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