NYON: European federation UEFA has cancelled its emergency meeting after seeing its initial ambition achieved with the impending departure of Sepp Blatter from the FIFA presidency writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
A summit of leaders of all the European national associations had been called for Friday in Berlin, on the eve of the almost-forgotten Champions League Final, after Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term at the head of world football last Friday.
However Blatter’s shock announcement yesterday that he planned to step down as soon as an emergency elective congress could be organised has removed the immediate need for urgent talks.
Instead UEFA president Michel Platini will need to sit down with the friends, senior officials and strategists and think over whether he should stand himself to become Blatter’s successor.
The Frenchman said: “It is with great concern that I, like most football fans around the world, have been following the daily developments regarding the investigations pertaining to FIFA corruption matters.
“Due to yesterday’s announcement and the uncertain and unpredictable nature of the investigations, I have decided that it would be more appropriate to postpone the meeting that was announced last week, and which could have taken place in Berlin this weekend.
“Considering new information is revealed every day, I believe it is wiser to take time to assess the situation, so together we can take a position on this issue.
“There will be other opportunities for us to meet in the coming weeks and by then hopefully more light will have been shed on this matter.
“During the weekend in Berlin, we will aim to focus our attention on one of many great occasions at UEFA, the UEFA Champions League final.”
Platini said last year that he believed he was the only candidate who might have been able to raise enough votes to defeat Blatter. However he had always insisted that he would never challenge his mentor in international football administration.
Potential supporters beyond Europe might not now find Platini so attractive out of concern for how FIFA might be run by a man closely identified now with European rather than world aspirations.