The Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, has accused Uefa of lacking the courage to provide a challenge to his leadership and called on the European governing body to be respectful of his wish to continue in the role.
Blatter will be bidding for a fifth term in office at the election in May, with so far only three candidates – the French former Fifa executive Jérôme Champagne, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan and the former Tottenham winger David Ginola – having declared their intention to stand against him.
Speaking in an interview with CNN World Sport, the 78-year-old said: “I have been asked by the national associations to be our candidate again because nobody that is strong was in. So I go there.
“All those who want to get rid of me should come. All this opposition is coming now, it’s unfortunate to say – but it’s true – it’s coming from Nyon, from Uefa. They don’t have the courage to come in. So let me go [on] – be respectful.”
He continued: “Football is a team sport. Let’s go together with the team. I invite the confederation of Uefa and especially the leaders of Uefa that are so bitterly attacking me: Join! Join! Football is a unity.”