Blatter critical of Platini’s Euro 2020 plans

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has criticized plans for the 2020

European Championship to be played in 13 countries, saying the

tournament will lack ”heart and soul.”

The tournament is the brainchild of Michel Platini, the UEFA

president who could be Blatter’s rival for FIFA presidency in 2015.

Rather than staging the championship in one or two host countries,

UEFA has spread the 2020 edition around the continent, with the

semifinals and the final to be played in one stadium. The hosts

have not been decided yet.

”A tournament should be played in one country, that’s how you

build identity and euphoria,” Blatter told Germany’s Kicker

magazine in an interview published Thursday. ”The 2020 tournament

has been fragmented.

”It’s not a European Championship anymore. It should be called

something else – I don’t know what. Such a European Championship

lacks soul and heart.”

Blatter did not rule out running again in 2015, although the

77-year-old Swiss says he is also ready to hand over the reins to

someone else. He has headed FIFA since 1998 and has been equivocal

on initial intention not to run again.

”I want to push through the FIFA reforms at our congress in

Mauritius in May, then we go to Brazil for the World Cup in 2014,

and after that everything is open,” Blatter said. ”When it is

sure that FIFA will continue to be guided like that, that it will

remain global and the pyramid will not collapse, then I will gladly

hand over the scepter to a new president.”

Asked if he could rule out running in 2015, Blatter said: ”What

can you rule out, when you don’t exactly know what the future will

bring.”

Platini is also a FIFA vice president.