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UEFA To Elect New President

Photo credit to Bond154 via Flickr


Geneva, Switzerland – The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) will elect a new president on September 14, following Michel Platini’s resignation this month.

Platini, 60, resigned this past May 9 after failing to overturn his ban from all soccer activities.

The Frenchman was found guilty of ethics breaches over a $2 million payment he received from FIFA in 2011, transaction that also spilled former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

The former France captain and three-time Ballon d’Or winner was initially banned for six years but had the punishment cut to four years.

The European body has been without a president since Platini was suspended by the FIFA ethics committee in October, then banned for eight years. The Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed a reduced four-year ban on Platini this month.

Platini had hoped to be cleared of all charges but the three-man CAS panel in Lausanne backed FIFA’s judgement that the payment was “unfair” and a “conflict of interests”.

He will be the UEFA president, in name at least, for the duration of Euro 2016. Platini’s right to attend matches in France as a guest of UEFA is still unclear despite FIFA being asked to explain the exact terms of his sanction.

With Platini barred from official duty, Angel Maria Villar will present the trophy at competition finals including Euro 2016 as UEFA’s senior vice president.

Michael Van Praag, the Dutch soccer leader, “expressed his intention” to enter the contest during an executive committee meeting Wednesday, European body interim general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said.

Other officials interested in the race include UEFA and FIFA vice president Angel Maria Villar of Spain and Slovenian federation president Aleksander Ceferin.

The 55 national federations in the European body will vote at an extraordinary congress in Athens, Greece, said Theodoridis, who acknowledged he might be a contender by the July 20 deadline.

“In my life I learned never to say never, but it is not my priority and there are plenty of people there,” said the Greek official, who was promoted to the role of his former boss Gianni Infantino.

Infantino, now the FIFA president, used the UEFA general secretary job to rise to higher office in February.

The UEFA race is expected to take shape during the June 10-July 10 European Championship in France.