New candidates emerge post Blatter resignation
France, Russia say UEFA President Michel Platini could be a good candidate for FIFA presidentAs the dust settles on FIFA President Sepp Blatter's resignation that whipped up a storm in the world of sports and politics, names of his potential replacements are beginning to surface.
The Royal Dutch Football Association President (KNVB) Michael van Praag welcomed Sepp Blatter's resignation and supported the FIFA Presidency candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan.
"It's very good news," Van Praag said Wednesday. In addition, he said that he would be in Berlin over the weekend for the European football UEFA's meeting to decide about the candidacy.
KNVB General Director Bert van Oostveen said that Blatter's resignation had made him happy and hoped a new president, who would carry out reforms in FIFA, would get elected.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said: "It's an unexpected decision. Blatter's expressions are showing that he resigned to save FIFA."
About the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Mutko said: "There is no reason to cancel the World Cup [in Russia]. FIFA decided to leave the issue to Swiss Prosecution Office to end the investigations."
Russian Football Association Vice President Nikita Simonyan said that UEFA President Michel Platini could be a good candidate for the vacant FIFA position.
French sports officials also agreed that Platini was the most suitable person for the presidency.
French Sports Minister Patrick Kanner said that Platini had the required talents to run FIFA.
French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet told RMC radio in France: "The best candidate should be found for FIFA. Running UEFA exemplarily, Platini is the most right candidate for FIFA Presidency."
About the Prince of Jordan, Le Graet said: "He is pretty sympathetic; however, Platini is the person who is a heavyweight in the world of football."
French Professional Football League President Frederic Thiriez told Europe 1 radio channel that the most ideal candidate was Platini.
Many football club presidents in France also backed Platini.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of London and Conservative Party deputy, Boris Johnson, said that Blatter should leave his job immediately and England's 2018 FIFA World Cup candidacy deserved to be evaluated in a serious way.
After Blatter's resignation, U.S. Football Association President Sunil Gulati pointed out, " Blatter gave a magnificent chance for a positive change inFIFA by this snap decision."
Running FIFA for 17 years, Sepp Blatter's era came to an abrupt end Tuesday when he announced that he was stepping down.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice charged 14 defendants, including senior FIFA officials in a 47-count indictment with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, "in connection with the defendants' participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer".
The U.S. authority also unsealed guilty pleas of four individual defendants and two corporate defendants.
The $10 million bribe connected to South Africa's bid to host the 2010 World Cup was in the charges too.
On Tuesday, the British newspaper The Guardian revealed a letter implicating FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke in the transfer of $10 million that U.S. investigators allege was a bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup for South Africa.
The letter confirmed that $10 million would be withheld from South Africa's operational budget for the contest and cited the president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.
Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who was released on bail Friday after being detained in a U.S. corruption case, was the confederation's president at the time.