Most UEFA members will vote against Blatter in the upcoming elections for the head of FIFA, Michel Platini has said. UEFA's chief did not reject the possibility of his organization withdrawing from FIFA competitions.
UEFA will attend the FIFA congress and the vote on the new head of FIFA on Friday in Zurich, despite earlier indications that the European football governing body was considering a boycott.
As expected even prior to this week's scandal, the overwhelming majority of European football federations will vote for Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, UEFA President Michel Platini told reporters Thursday. Prince Ali is the only challenger to embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who has been in office since 1998 and is seeking another four-year term.
The pressure on Blatter to resign has been mounting in the wake of the latest corruption scandal, which broke after the Swiss police arrested several high-ranking FIFA officials yesterday.
However, Blatter has shown no intent of backing out of the race to win his fifth term as the head of FIFA.
While FIFA's current president has stayed out of the public eye after news of the raid in Zurich, he did hold an emergency meeting with representatives of FIFA's continental soccer bodies, including Michel Platini, on Thursday morning.
"I asked him to resign, [saying] 'enough is enough, Sepp.' He listened to me, but he told me it is too late," Platini said.
"Mr Blatter is perturbed, very perturbed. It's a very difficult time he is going through," Platini said, albeit adding that the man who ruled FIFA for the last 17 years was nevertheless "ready to fight and he was ready to win the election."
Platini, who has no vote on Friday himself, formally threw his support behind Prince Ali in an interview with "L'Equipe" on Monday.
UEFA looking into 'all options'
Despite a string of scandals throughout the Blatter era and this latest one shaking the world of football to the core, the current FIFA president is likely to win Friday's vote. Even with the long-running row between him and Platini, Blatter reportedly still enjoys the support of many football federations from Asia and Africa.
If Blatter is not toppled, UEFA will consider "all options," Platini said, without ruling out the possibility of the European body withdrawing from FIFA tournaments.
The representatives of UEFA nations are set to hold a special meeting in Berlin on June 6, on the sidelines of the Champions League final, to review "all their relations with FIFA," Platini said.
dj/msh (dpa, SID, AP, Reuters, AFP)