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End Fifa graft row -Platini

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30- UEFA president, Michel Platini has called on the world football governing body Fifa that is embroiled in a corruption saga that saw two top officials suspended on Sunday to focus on the game.

Platini was speaking to CNN senior anchor, Pedro Pinto and from transcripts obtained by Capital Sport; the retired French legend reiterated his support for incumbent Fifa chief, Sepp Blatter.

Blatter is set to return to the presidency unopposed on Wednesday after his only challenger, Mohammed Bin Hammam withdrew his candidature on Sunday.

Here are the excerpts of the first part of the interview.

We’ve had the opportunity to talk several times before the champions league final and this is probably the first time I remember its been over shadowed by stories that are happening else where and of course I’m mentioning what has been happening at Fifa over the last few days … when you found out about the allegations regarding Mohamed Bin Hammam? And then the involvement about new allegations about Sepp Blatter… what was your reaction?

Ok, we are having a system of allegations for long months with the world cup, with all these things. There is big pressure on Fifa, but where I am surprised is why before the elections? These allegations?

Because, the disciplinary committee will bring Mr Bin Hammam to FIFA and I don’t understand why you can’t do the election quietly and then you open the case.

I know you can say everything but you need evidences and I have no evidences or nothing. We will wait for what the disciplinary committee says and then I don’t know what will happen. And I’m like you… I don’t know anymore… I’m the Vice-President of Fifa but I don’t know more what will happen.

  Are you still supporting Sepp Blatter?

MP: Of course! Of course I support him. But we will see… I don’t know… if these allegations are proved, I can’t support him anymore.  I don’t know what the disciplinary will say.  But I will support him, but perhaps not the president. We have to see… I don’t know what will happen.

You are an insider… what is Fifa’s biggest problem, you think? What is their biggest challenge, why there are so many allegations?

MP: I think that FIFA is like the IOC was some years ago, I think we are at the end of a system based on politics. The future of this big international sports company owned by people who are specialists, not political people like you have Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch in the IOC, Mr. Havelange, Mr. Blatter who comes from politics, and you have many companies like that in sport. I think it will finish in the next few years and we will have people from the sport – and I think FIFA has to come back to football.

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The second part of this interview will run Tuesday on CNN and on Capital Sport.

Pedro Pinto is a sports anchor for CNN International.

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