Blatter, Platini to meet at FIFA leaders session
Sepp Blatter will host Michel Platini and football’s other continental presidents later on Sunday night, in their first formal meeting since the FIFA president announced he would leave office amid a corruption crisis.
The closed-door meeting at FIFA headquarters helps prepare for an executive committee session on Monday, called at short notice to set a date for the presidential election to replace Blatter.
Platini, the UEFA president and former France great, is currently favored to win a ballot that requires a four-month campaign by FIFA election rules.
When the presidents’ group met on May 28, one day after senior FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich, Platini urged his mentor turned adversary to resign.
Blatter refused and was re-elected the next day for a fifth four-year term.
Within days on June 2 he promised to leave office, under pressure from American and Swiss federal investigations of corruption implicating FIFA.
The presidents’ group includes: Issa Hayatou of Africa, Asia’s Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, CONCACAF interim leader Alfredo Hawit, Juan Angel Napout of CONMEBOL, and Oceania’s David Chung.
Hawit was appointed in May by the regional body for North and Central America and the Caribbean after FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb was one of the seven men arrested in Zurich and among 14 indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for an alleged bribery racketeering conspiracy.
On Saturday, Webb appeared in a federal court in Brooklyn after being the first detainee to be extradited to the US.
The 50-year-old banker from the Cayman Islands, who has a residence in Loganville, Georgia, pleaded not guilty to a range of charges. He posted a USD 10 million bond and was released.
Napout of Paraguay was elected to lead the South American body in March and formally became a FIFA vice president on May 29. He replaced Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay who remains in detention in the Zurich area.