Michel Platini will not stand in Fifa presidential election

Michel Platini
Former France international Platini has been president of Uefa since 2007

Suspended Uefa president Michel Platini says he will not stand in the Fifa presidential election next month.

Platini, along with Fifa boss Sepp Blatter, has been banned from football-related activities for eight years by world football's governing body.

Both men were found guilty of breaches surrounding a £1.3m ($2m) "disloyal payment" made to Platini in 2011.

They are appealing against their bans, but Platini says the timing of the 26 February election means he cannot run.

"I'm withdrawing from the race for the Fifa presidency," the 60-year-old Frenchman told the Associated Press.

"The timing is not good for me. I don't have the means to fight on equal terms with the other candidates.

"I have not been given the chance to play the game. Bye bye, Fifa. Bye bye, Fifa presidency."

'Injustice is revolting me'

Platini, president of European football's governing body since 2007, and Blatter, 79, plan to take their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"I've spent more time in hearing rooms than on football pitches speaking about 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 or football news," added Platini.

"I'm taking this philosophically. Let's wait and see what happens. But injustice is revolting me and I'm trying to fight it."

Platini and Blatter claimed the payment was honouring an agreement made in 1998 for work carried out between 1998 and 2002, when Platini worked as a technical adviser for Blatter.

Fifa's ethics committee said there was "not sufficient evidence" to establish the payment was a bribe, but both men demonstrated an "abusive execution" of their positions.

"I can't have any regret in that story because things fell upon my head while I haven't done anything wrong," added Platini.

"I'm struggling to understand what happened, unless there was a will somewhere to prevent me from bidding."

'Maybe I'll come back in 20 years'

The English Football Association had previously backed Platini for the Fifa presidency, but suspended its support in October pending the outcome of the ethics inquiry.

FA chairman Greg Dyke said recently the organisation had yet to decide who to now support.

"I had 150 associations thinking that I'm the right person to solve Fifa problems," said Platini.

"It won't happen. But there is no age limitation, so maybe I'll come back in 20 years. Who knows?"

Who will be the next Fifa boss?

There are five candidates to succeed Blatter, who has been Fifa president since 1998:

  • Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa - 50, Bahrain, president of Asian Football Confederation;
  • Tokyo Sexwale - 62, South Africa, politician, businessman and former political prisoner;
  • Prince Ali bin al-Hussein - 40, Jordan, a former Fifa vice-president and 2015 Fifa presidential candidate;
  • Gianni Infantino - 45, Switzerland, Uefa general secretary and a member of Fifa's reform committee;
  • Jerome Champagne - 57, France, a former Fifa assistant general secretary and former French diplomat.

Voting will take place by secret ballot, with all Fifa's 209 member states having a vote each.

Profile - Michel Platini

Michel Platini
Platini celebrates with France team-mates after scoring in the 1984 European Championship final

Platini rose to fame as one of France's greatest players.

The son of a former footballer, he played for Nancy and St Etienne before joining Italian giants Juventus, with whom he was named European Footballer of the Year on three occasions.

A midfielder, Platini made 72 appearances for France, captaining them to victory at the 1984 European Championship and helping them reach the semi-finals of two World Cups, in 1982 and 1986.

He retired as player at 32, turning to coaching and managed France's national team, with mixed results, from 1988 to 1992.

After turning down an offer to coach Spanish giants Real Madrid, he was asked by French President Francois Mitterrand to organise the 1998 World Cup in France and, shortly after, was appointed vice-president of the French Football Federation.

Since 2002, Platini has been a member of the executive committee of Fifa and was elected president of Uefa in 2007. He was re-elected and also became Fifa vice-president.