Eric Cantona has said that having to choose between Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini for the FIFA presidency would be like "choosing between the plague and cholera".
The former Manchester United star also claimed that top-level bureaucracy and politics is ruining the game, and that recent decisions to award high-profile tournaments to Qatar (2022 World Cup) and Israel (2013 European U21 Championships) were "disrespectful in terms of human rights", while awarding Euro 2012 co-hosting rights to Ukraine was "not an example of democracy".
Blatter and Platini are likely to battle it out for the top position at FIFA when Blatter's term expires. Unsurprisingly, the pair have taken pot-shots at each other in the media recently - Blatter has admitted that awarding the 2022 tournament to Qatar was a mistake, and seems happy to associate Platini, who voted in favour of awarding the hosting rights to the Gulf state, with the negative press surrounding the decision.
Speaking to Le Parisien, Cantona said:
It’s politics when you get to that level.
Platini was a great player, he’s a great man of football, but today he’s a politician, just like the rest.
On the other hand, it would be a good thing that as they are all politicians. a former player could be elected head of FIFA. When you have to choose between the plague and cholera, it’s best to get it from the doctor.
It’s about settling scores, a political war. Platini wants to be FIFA President, Blatter wants to remain it. Blatter has started to say, “Qatar, it’s true it was a bad idea, but it was Platini’s idea."
Some people criticise the World Cup in Qatar, others the World Cup in Brazil. It’s also Platini who gave the Under 21 European Championships to Israel, which is just as disrespectful in terms of human rights as giving the World Cup to Qatar, given Israel’s policy.
He also gave the Euros to Ukraine, which was not an example of democracy