Austria still unsure of who to back in UEFA election

Posted September 14, 2016

Following the withdrawal of Spaniard Angel Maria Villar last week, the election is a two horse race between Dutchman Michael van Praag and Slovenian Aleksander Ceferin who are both promising to initiate major changes.

Gianni Infantino, Platini's former number two at UEFA who was elected as the head of world football's governing body FIFA in February, admitted he was "very sad" about the CAS decision after replacing Blatter. ALEKSANDER CEFERINA lawyer, he became involved in football when he began providing legal representation for players and clubs in his native Slovenia.

"The agenda of the 12th Extraordinary UEFA Congress includes the election of the UEFA president". "As a courtesy to Michael, on arrival here in Athens we met with him in person to explain our decision and rationale behind it".

The former French worldwide, a three-time European Footballer of the Year, is a key figure in the scandal that brought down Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter.

"Appreciating the importance of Alexander Ceferin's program for the development of football, the Federation announces its support for his candidacy in the upcoming UEFA presidential elections and in implementation of his action plan provisions in the event of his election as the UEFA president", the FFA said.

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Europe's top clubs seized on the power vacuum at UEFA previous year and pushed reform plans for continental club competitions under the threat of a breakaway tournament.

Van Praag, meanwhile, will count on the support of the Football Association, the Belgians and his native Netherlands.

Van Praag said it was wrong to point the finger at UEFA and that the ECA was not run democratically and added: "In the ECA, there are clubs with eight votes, 10 votes, others have three votes, and I know that on the board of the ECA, the big clubs are always in the majority so the mid-size and small clubs never have a chance".

If elected, the UEFA vice president "would reopen the negotiations" on the Champions League after complaints that England, Germany, Italy and Spain have been guaranteed four group-stage places.

"We should communicate more with them and the football associations".

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The European Championship has been staged only in one country or co-hosted by neighbors, but Platini chose to take the tournament across the continent to 13 cities for the first time in 2020. It will be a problem for fans to travel from one part of Europe to another.

"UEFA is not very broken - public opinion is worse than actually UEFA is". We have to adopt term limits for presidents and ExCo (executive committee) members because you can not stay in a certain position for 20 years. "You think you own the organization".

We need an honest football leader.

"It is hard for people to understand it is just the right time - it is time for a change obviously and people want new faces and new ideas".

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