Infantino backs Platini's efforts to clear name

Michel Platini (AFP)
Michel Platini (AFP)

Nyon - UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino, one of two European candidates for the FIFA leadership after the withdrawal of Michel Platini, on Friday backed his former boss' right to a "due process".

Infantino, who had previously said he would withdraw from the FIFA race if Platini stayed in, said he was "encouraged" by support he has received.

Platini, the UEFA president from France who has been banned for eight years over a suspect $2m payment from FIFA, announced that he was withdrawing from the FIFA race to concentrate on clearing his name.

"I fully respect and understand Michel Platini's decision," Infantino said in a statement.

"I wish him all the best in his efforts to clear his name as soon as possible and I reiterate my support for his right to a due process."

UEFA's executive has backed Infantino's decision to run for the presidency of football's world body and the Swiss official said: "I have been further gratified and encouraged by the support I have received from the many football people I met all over the world during my campaign.

"I am conscious of my responsibility to them and to all of those who love our game. I look forward to building together with them the FIFA that they want to see, a FIFA with football at its heart."

Platini's decision to give up on his dream of becoming FIFA president leaves five declared candidates.

Apart from Infantino, they are Asian football head Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, South African politician and tycoon Tokyo Sexwale, former FIFA vice-president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan and Jerome Champagne, a former FIFA assistant general secretary from France.

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