ZURICH: UEFA president Michel Platini has welcomed the reform proposals agreed by the executive committee of the world federation FIFA writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Frenchman Platini has long been linked with the top job in the world game but had always insisted he would never stand against Sepp Blatter who brought him into FIFA in the first place back in 1998.

Platini, a FIFA vice-president courtesy of his status at the head of the European federation, had even refused to stand earlier this year despite a vocal campaign urging Blatter to step down.

He was present at today’s FIFA exco meeting and said later: “Along with the rest of FIFA’s executive committee, I feel that the creation of a task force with internal and external members to deal specifically with reforms is an important step towards improving overall processes and transparency within the organisation.

Widespread support

“We must now make sure that the reforms outlined today will be undertaken in a swift and effective manner. As I have said various times in the recent past, we need to reform FIFA and we need to do it now.”

Recent reports have suggested that Platini would enjoy widespread support beyond Europe were he to stand for the FIFA presidency at the extaordinary elective congress next February 26.

However he offered no indication of his personal intentions, saying only: “Regarding the election, we now have a concrete date which means we can look forward to new leadership which will surely bring with it new ideas and new solutions.

“This is an exciting time for FIFA because we can work together to improve it and restructure it for the good of the game.”