PARIS: Disgraced former UEFA president Michel Platini will attend the UEFA Congress in Athens next week at the invitation of the European football’s governing body, but paying his own way for a final farewell.
Platini ‘will travel there by his own means and will not give a press conference’ at the Congress, when the UEFA executive committee will vote on his successor, a member of his entourage told AFP.
The former French international, a three-time European footballer of the year, is the key figure in the scandal that brought down FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Blatter vows to 'accept' appeal verdict
Spain’s Villar withdraws bid for UEFA top job
Angel Maria Villar, the head of Spain’s football association, announced on Tuesday he had withdrawn his bid to replace Platini as president of UEFA.
His surprise defection leaves just two candidates for European football’s top job — Aleksander Ceferin of Slovenia and Dutchman Michael van Praag.
“After a profound reflection I have decided to withdraw my bid,” said Villar. “Many representatives of Spanish football have asked me to continue working for my country’s football by submitting a new bid in the next months for my re-election as President of Royal Spanish Football Federation.”
FIFA ban has taken a physical toll: Blatter
English FA back Van Praag’s UEFA bid
The English Football Association yesterday announced they will back Van Praag in the race to replace Platini as UEFA president.
FA vice-chairman David Gill said: “While we note Angel Maria Villar Llona’s withdrawal overnight and fully respect Aleksander Ceferin’s credentials, we have agreed to support Van Praag.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2016.
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