Pele backs Platini for FIFA presidency

Updated: 03 March 2011 22:14 IST

Brazilian football legend Pele on Thursday said he had recommended UEFA supremo Michel Platini as a candidate to run against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency in June.

Pele backs Platini for FIFA presidency

Singapore:

Brazilian football legend Pele on Thursday said he had recommended UEFA supremo Michel Platini as a candidate to run against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency in June.


Speaking to reporters in Singapore, Pele said he had put forward Platini's name when he and former Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer were approached to run for FIFA's top job.

"Myself and Beckenbauer, we were approached to be candidates, then I said no, I am out of that. I want to rest," he said, without specifying who had made the suggestion to him..

"But everybody knows, Platini... it is important for him to be, you know, president of FIFA," added Pele, who was in Singapore to help officially kick off the 2011 Asia tour of the newly-revived New York Cosmos.

"Maybe as a (former) player, the player who has a chance, maybe Platini because he is already president of UEFA."

Platini won the 1984 European Championship with France and the European Cup with Italian club Juventus the following year.

However, Pele was non-committal about Platini's chances against Blatter for football's top job.

"I think he's not bad, who knows?" he stated.

Elections for the next four-year FIFA presidency will be held on June 1, and incumbent Blatter has already indicated he wants to keep the position.

Pele is the honorary president of the New York Cosmos, his club for three seasons in the 1970s, while Eric Cantona, the former Manchester United talisman, is their director of soccer operations.

The original New York Cosmos played from 1971 to 1985 when they were in the vanguard of the drive to popularise football in the United States.

But following the collapse of the North American Soccer League, the Cosmos' fortunes rapidly faded and they went out of business in 1985.



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