LISBON, Portugal (AP) — UEFA honorary president Lennart Johansson says Michel Platini is unlikely to challenge Sepp Blatter next year for the FIFA presidency.
Next month in Brazil, Blatter will ask FIFA's 209 member federations to support his bid for a fifth term, seeming to close Platini's path to the job.
"I think he will do it (be a FIFA candidate) one day but not now." Johansson told The Associated Press about Platini's options.
Johansson said he had "an excellent relationship with Michel," and praised his successor as UEFA president.
Still, as the veteran of many battles with Blatter, Johansson wondered whether Platini is "really interested" in fighting for the FIFA leadership.
Johansson believes his successor as UEFA president "is happy to be in charge of the biggest confederation."
Platini has said he will consult UEFA's 54 members later this year before announcing his intentions.
The FIFA deadline for candidates is January, four months before the May 29 poll. UEFA's presidential election is next March.
The 84-year-old Johansson lost a tight election to Platini in 2007.
Blatter backed the former France great against his old rival in FIFA's often murky political wrangling.
In 1998, Blatter had Platini's support to beat Johansson and become FIFA president.