SAO PAULO (AP) — Michel Platini has made it clear he will not support Sepp Blatter if FIFA's president stands for re-election.
Blatter is expected to formally declare his candidacy for a fifth term, but European confederation president Platini — who is considering a run at FIFA top job — says the time has come for a change.
"I don't support him. I've known him a long time and I like him, but I'm not in favor of him serving another term. I supported him in 1998 but I don't support him in 2014," Platini said in comments published Thursday by sports daily L'Equipe and verified by UEFA. "In the future I won't support Blatter anymore. I've told him that. I think that FIFA needs a breath of fresh air."
According to Platini, Blatter reneged on a verbal agreement not to stand for another term.
"In 2011 he asked for our (UEFA'S) support and he told us it was his last term," said Platini, who plans to announce his decision whether to stand for FIFA presidency in next year's election on Aug. 28 — the day of the Champions League draw in Monaco.
UEFA members "want me to announce it as soon as possible," Platini said. "It's not as if choosing between UEFA and FIFA is like choosing between hospital and prison. There's nothing negative about this choice. When I undertake something, it's to win."
The 58-year-old Platini's decision won't be influenced by what the 78-year-old Blatter decides to do.
"It's an option. But it's not because Blatter is running (for election) that Michel Platini won't run, and it's not because Sepp Blatter won't run that Michel Platini will run," the former France midfielder said. "My only concern is what I want to do. I'm nearly 60 and I need to know what I want to do. I'm taking my time."
The majority of FIFA member countries rejected proposals to introduce age and term limits for football officials, even though such modernizing moves have long been regarded by FIFA's anti-corruption advisers as an essential step to change the scandal-hit governing body's culture. Blatter has widely campaigned against age limits as a form of discrimination.
"We all saw that it wasn't the Europeans who blocked the reforms," Platini said. "You could see who voted against the age limit."