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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) supports the candidacy Aleksander Ceferin, the head of the Football Association of Slovenia, for the post of the UEFA president, the Russian sports Minister said on Wednesday.
The Russian capital of Moscow hosted on Wednesday a meeting of the group of Southeast European football associations.
"This group was founded last year to unite efforts and discuss programs for the agenda of FIFA and UEFA," Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also the RFU president, said. "The meeting is held at the very important time as the UEFA will be soon electing the new president."
"During the meeting we discussed the situation with the UEFA presidential election and whose candidacy should be supported," Mutko said. "Almost all participating countries, including Russia, endorsed the candidacy of the Football Association of Slovenia’s president."
Europe’s governing body of football will be electing its new president on September 14 in Athens and all candidates wishing to run for the presidency have to submit their applications by July 20.
Former French footballer Michel Platini, who is considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, had been at the helm of UEFA since 2007 until he was suspended earlier this year.
Last October, Platini and then-President of FIFA Sepp Blatter were both suspended for the period of 90 days from their posts as part of the investigation into corruption allegations against them. Among a number of corruption allegations, Blatter was suspected of a disloyal payment of 2 million Swiss francs to UEFA President Platini in February 2011.
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent FIFA Ethics Committee held hearings into corruption charges on December 17 and 18, in regard to Blatter and Platini respectively, and on December 21 they were both suspended for the period of eight years from all football-related activities.
The Ethics Committee also subjected both of the football executives to financial fines, obliging Blatter to pay 50,000 Swiss francs (over $50,300) and Platini - 80,000 Swiss francs (over $80,500).
On March 2, FIFA Appeal Committee ruled to reduce the suspension sentences for Platini and Blatter from eight to six years.
Following the FIFA Appeal Committee’s ruling both Platini submitted an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne. On May 9, CAS announced its verdict reducing the suspension term of Platini from six to four years and cutting the earlier imposed fine from 80,000 to 60,000 Swiss francs.
Following the verdict from the CAS, Platini announced his plans to resign from the post of the UEFA president.