Greg Dyke, chairman of the Football Association, has said that he is still behind Michel Platini becoming the next FIFA president, despite becoming embroiled in the crisis that has enveloped the body, claiming that he is the ‘lest evil’ option to lead the organisation.
Platini, currently president of UEFA, was drawn into FIFA’s crisis after it was revealed that he was paid $2 million in 2011 for work supposedly done a decade previously, although it was viewed at the time as a barely concealed bribe to persuade him not to run in that year’s presidential election, won by Sepp Blatter unopposed.
However, Dyke – who had lent his backing to the Frenchman before the allegations were made – remains committed to supporting his man, saying: ‘Michel remains for us the best, and easily least evil, option to run FIFA. In Britain, a man is presumed innocent until found guilty. And even though Platini is almost certainly guilty in this case, FIFA being FIFA shouldn’t prevent him from taking the reigns when Sepp finally steps down’.
Platini, along with Blatter, has been suspended from FIFA for ninety days, thus making it highly unlikely that he’ll be able to run even if he is found not guilty. Despite this, the FA will maintain their backing, with Dyke adding: ‘Seriously, he’s obviously the least Machiavellian person available. If you had to choose between an unelected leader of an oil-rich micro nation with a long-standing record of ignoring the most basic human rights of its people, a stand-in president who has spent his whole career embroiled in one scandal after another, or an ex-France international who seems to have only accepted the one – albeit massive – bribe in his administrative career, I think it’s obvious who you’re going to back’.
There is now some doubt as to whether the election will take place, with rumours flying that it is to be postponed beyond its original February 2016 date.