PARIS (AP) — Michel Platini declined to divulge his intentions for the FIFA presidency.
Speaking publicly for the first time since Sepp Blatter announced his decision to resign, the UEFA president shied away from questions Wednesday about his plans for the future.
“I’m not making any political decision. I know where you want to lead me and I won’t go there,” said Plantini, who had opened the news conference by saying he would not talk about FIFA. “When I know something, I’ll tell you.”
The 59-year-old Platini, a former France great and national team coach, is a leading candidate to replace Blatter as FIFA president. He met with French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday before attending a news conference about next year’s European Championship, which will be played in France.
“This news conference was scheduled way before recent events involving FIFA. Many of you have come here to question me about these events, about FIFA and about my future,” Platini said at the start of the news conference. “I will do that when the time is right. But this is not the time or the place.”
FIFA has been plunged into crisis since U.S. authorities indicted 14 people on corruption charges ahead of last month’s FIFA congress. Seven of them were arrested in Zurich.
Blatter then won a fifth, four-term as FIFA president on May 29, but four days later announced his decision to resign. He said elections for a successor would be held sometime between December and March.
Platini, a former Blatter confidant turned adversary, would need help from outside his European power base to win a FIFA election. But he steered clear of any campaigning on Wednesday.
“We are here to talk about Euro 2016,” said Platini, who scored nine goals for France when it won the European title on home soil in 1984. “This is an important step toward Euro 2016 and I don’t want the events surrounding FIFA to undermine this.”
Associated Press writer Sylvie Corbet contributed to this report.