Adidas boss: Platini should lead Fifa, Niersbach Uefa

Adidas boss: Platini should lead Fifa, Niersbach Uefa
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Published July 10th, 2015 - 15:57 GMT via

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Michel Platini
Michel Platini

Michel Platini is the right man to take over the leadership at the world governing body FIFA and the Frenchman could be succeeded as UEFA boss by Germany's Wolfgang Niersbach, according to Herbert Hainer, chief executive of major football sponsors Adidas.

"Platini is the most suitable candidate. He leads UEFA with the strongest club teams and the strongest club competition, the Champions League. He has done a really good job in his two terms in office," Hainer said in an interview with German news magazine Focus of which excerpts were published on their website Friday.

FIFA is set to elect a new president late this year or in early 2016 after Joseph Blatter said he will hand back his mandate. Blatter said on June 2 he planned to resign, four days after being re-elected for a fifth term by the FIFA Congress.

The ruling body has been plagued by corruption allegations, with several football officials arrested and more than a dozen indicted in an American probe. In a separate investigation, Swiss authorities are also looking into the election process of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts.

Platini chose not to run against Blatter at the FIFA elections but could be a candidate now. He has been UEFA boss since 2007 and was elected for a third term earlier this year.

If Platini decides to run for the FIFA presidency, Hainer said that German football federation (DFB) boss Niersbach would be a top contender for the vacant UEFA job.

"He would be the ideal UEFA president should Platini succeed Blatter," Hainer said.

Niersbach is a member of the UEFA and FIFA executive committees. He was formerly DFB secretary general and vice-president of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee.

Adidas are a long-time major sponsor of FIFA and UEFA, and Hainer said that recent talks at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich showed "that everyone realizes that FIFA must position itself in a new way very quickly in the area of transparency.

"The past months have harmed everyone: football, sponsors - and mostly FIFA."

© 2015 dpa GmbH

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