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Platini Expected to Edge Johansson for UEFA Presidency

Tomorrow, the 52 national associations that make up UEFA, Europe's presiding soccer association, vote for either France legend Michel Platini or the incumbent Swede Lennart Johansson in what will be the organization's first presidential election for 17 years. The Independent believes Platini has the edge ahead of tomorrow's crucial vote, after today receiving the public backing of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who went on to criticize Johansson for not taking his decision well.

Among Platini's controversial plans is a scaling down of the UEFA Champions League, one of the chief money-makers for the European organization. Platini says he wants to see fewer clubs from Europe's top leagues enter the competition- as many as four can qualify from England, Spain and Italy-because he believes the revenue teams earn from qualification only serves to widen the gap between Europe's haves and have nots.

For this reason, Johansson, who promises to maintain the status quo, is believed to have the support of Europe's bigger soccer countries, although the Independent believes England will vote for Platini. Johansson's 77 years of age is also thought to be a factor; Platini is 51.

Read the whole story at The Independent »

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