UEFA President Michel Platini has confirmed that Europe will be supporting HRH Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein at tomorrow's FIFA presidential election, saying that "enough is enough" given this week's events.
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UEFA President Michel Platini has confirmed that Europe will be supporting HRH Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein at tomorrow's FIFA presidential election in Zurich, because "enough is enough" given the events of the past days where various international football representatives have been arrested pending an extensive investigation into corruption and racketeering.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Zurich and later to UEFA.org, the UEFA President said: "There are problems at FIFA. Sincerely, as someone who loves FIFA and its history, I am sickened, and I am vexed. Enough is enough. I will not comment on the legal actions which took place [yesterday], but for our image, it is not good at all.
"Today we had a meeting of the 53 European member associations of FIFA to prepare, with the UEFA General Secretary, the agenda of the FIFA Congress," Mr Platini said, "and tomorrow a very, very big majority of these associations will be voting for Prince Ali. People don't want him [Mr Blatter] any more as FIFA President, and I don't want him any more either.
"I have always said that we need FIFA to be strong, and today FIFA is no longer strong. I am still trying to convince certain [European member associations] who are not totally convinced. However, there is a radical change in the mindset of a number of associations, and we will work hard on that this evening."
The UEFA President confirmed that representatives from the continental confederations had earlier met with the FIFA President at FIFA headquarters, and that he also had the opportunity to have a one-to-one meeting with Mr Blatter. "The FIFA President asked us to think differently and to rejoin FIFA, because FIFA is important. He gave the floor to each of the confederation presidents. He told me to speak first, maybe because I would be the toughest. He asked me to speak in front of the other presidents, even if some of them were not there. So I told him how I felt and asked him to resign. I asked him to stop and leave FIFA. I looked him in the eye. I was very clear."
Of his separate one-to-one meeting, the UEFA President added: "I reiterated what I said in front of the other confederations. I have an affection for Mr Blatter, and we have supported him for a long time. I think it is a quality of a friend to speak to a friend about these issues. I am a younger friend. He always says he is an uncle to me, or something like that, but he said, 'No, it's too late, because the FIFA Congress starts today.' I feel afraid for him, and if a friend has a problem then I think it is my duty to tell him."
The UEFA President added: "I launch an appeal to all national associations in the world to support Prince Ali. I say this with sadness and with tears in my eyes. FIFA does not deserve to be treated in this way. [FIFA] is the mother of football and does not deserve to be treated like that."