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Platini set to run for FIFA presidency: Source

Platini set to run for FIFA presidency: Source
A source close to French UEFA president told AFP that “an announcement will be made before the end of the week”, while another source confirmed that Platini has decided to run. 

When asked, Platini’s spokesman refused to comment.

Outgoing president Blatter announced last week that the election for his successor would be held on February 26, 2016.

Platini has positioned himself as one of the most outspoken opponents to Blatter’s regime, and publicly called for him to stand down after seven FIFA Executive Committee members were arrested on corruption allegations in raids in Switzerland prior to May’s election.

Blatter ignored those calls and was duly elected for a fifth term as president, only to announce his intention to stand down on June 2 as world football’s governing body became mired in scandal. Platini, 60, has since emerged as one of the most likely names to run in the election and has the verbal support of four of the six confederations that make up FIFA, with the strongly pro-Blatter Confederation of African Football and that of Oceania the only exceptions.

The former Juventus and France star eventually decided not to run in May’s election, having apparently seriously considered doing so at one point, so if he does come forward this time it would indicate a confidence on his part that he can win. None of those who have so far come forward <g data-gr-id="29">appear</g> as credible a candidate as Platini, who has been in charge of UEFA since 2007.

Former Brazil star Zico lacks any experience of international football administration while Liberian FA chief Musa Bility is unknown outside of Africa and Diego Maradona, who has declared an interest in standing, is unlikely to be a serious contender.

Jordanian Prince Ali, who took on Blatter in May’s vote, got much of his support from UEFA members and so would be likely to give his backing to Platini rather than stand against him.Candidates have until October 26 -- exactly four months before the vote -- to come forward. They must have the confirmed backing of at least five of FIFA’s 209 member nations, and be cleared by the world governing body’s ethics committee, to be able to stand.

Platini has made increasing calls for reform of the world body in recent months. These have been heightened since US authorities charged 14 people -- including the seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich -- with corruption. 

Bayern <g data-gr-id="58">confirm</g> Vidal switch from Juventus
Bayern Munich confirmed on Tuesday they have signed Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal from Juventus on a five-year deal with Bastian Schweinsteiger’s replacement reportedly costing 35 million euros ($38.6m, £24.8m).  

The 28-year-old midfielder has been brought in by the German champions to bolster their options in the middle after Germany captain Schweinsteiger joined Manchester United earlier this month. 

Vidal is Bayern’s second major signing of the close season after Brazil winger or striker Douglas Costa was signed from Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this month.  German daily Bild <g data-gr-id="65">say</g> Vidal will earn 10 million euros per season at Bayern as the Chilean returns for a second stint in the Bundesliga after four seasons with Bayer Leverkusen.  He helped Juventus reach last season’s Champions League final after claiming the Italian league and cup double. 

“He is a guy who likes to win and has an excellent mentality,” said Bayern’s sporting director Matthias Sammer.  “He’ll be good for us with his strength in one-on-ones, his eye for goal and his flexibility.”  Vidal converted a spot-kick in Chile’s 4-1 penalty shoot-out win over Argentina earlier this month that saw them win the Copa America and he was also named in the team of the tournament.
Agencies

Agencies

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