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FIFA Candidate Infantino Expresses Respect For Platini Decision

Gianni Infantino, a FIFA presidential election candidate, has expressed his respect and understanding for Michel Platini’s decision to abandon his bid to head football’s world governing body.
He said on Friday in Berlin that the decision by UEFA president Platini was an indication that he (Infantino) was now the European football body’s confirmed candidate.
Infantino said he wished Platini “all the best’’ in his efforts to clear his name as soon as possible and reiterate his support for his right to a due process.
He said he was “honoured’’ to be supported by the UEFA executive committee when he put himself forward in October after Platini was initially suspended.
“Since then 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,’’ the Italian said.
Infantino will contest against four other candidates to replace FIFA president Joseph Blatter at an extraordinary congress in February.
He is up against four other candidates, including Sheikh Al-Khalifa, President of the Asian Football Confederation, and Tokyo Sexwale, a South African politician, businessman and former political prisoner.
The rest are Ali Hussein of Jordan, who was a FIFA presidential candidate earlier this year, and Jerome Champagne, a former FIFA assistant general secretary.
Voting will take place by secret ballot, with all FIFA’s 209 member-states having a vote each.
Although Infantino has the support of UEFA, it is unclear whether he will be backed by all European associations.
England’s Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said recently the FA had not yet decided who to back in the election.
The FA had originally expressed support for Platini.(dpa/NAN)

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