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Is Platini the right man to replace Blatter at FIFA?

September 13, 2015

- Grant Whittington

With the polarising and controversial figure of Sepp Blatter having been removed from his position as the head of FIFA, the appointment of his successor is arguably the most important decision that the organisation has faced for decades. After all, the new man must not only restore the image and perception of FIFA as a trustworthy entity, but he must also convince the games multiple governing bodies that he will represent them in the best possible way.

The Issues and the Challenges ahead for Platini

Former French footballer and the current President of UEFA Michel Platini is the clear favourite to succeed Blatter when the electoral process is completed on February 26th, 2016. He cannot have chosen a more challenging role at this time, however, as the next six months allow little time for the corruption cases surrounding Blatter and his FIFA colleagues do be resolved or forgotten about. Given his existing connection as the UEFA President, Platini will face the immense task of making a clean break from the previous administration and rebuilding FIFA’s global reputation.

Platini may also be haunted by his vote in the 2010 FIFA executive committee, which ultimately awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Having also voted for the timing of this event to be switched to the previous winter to negate soaring temperatures in the Middle East, Platini is also facing a barrage from European club managers who are unhappy the large-scale disruption. He would need to manage these issues and tackle them head-on if he is have any chance of enjoying success within the role, especially given the lack of patience and goodwill that exists for the FIFA organisation as a whole.

Is Platini the right man for the Job?

Fortunately, Platini is one of the few candidates within the organisation that is willing to accept that FIFA has done considerable damage both itself and the game as a whole in recent times. This bold and progressive attitude marks him out from his rivals, and at least reinforces the need for strong and direct action.

In addition to this, Platini has also done sterling work during his time at UEFA, especially with regards to combatting third-party ownership issues and driving greater financial solvency within the upper-echelons of the game. In fact, if he can commit to working beyond an initial four year term and driving long-term improvement in the world game, Platini would certainly be the ideal candidate for succeeding Blatter’s troubled reign.

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