Lennart Johansson to stand down from UEFA

UEFA's longserving president Lennart Johansson has said that he will not be seeking another mandate in the 2007 election and considered it time to devote himself to his favoured pastime of fishing.

The 75-year-old Swede told Greek weekly newspaper K that it was time for someone else to run European football’s ruling body.

“Time passes and I believe that the time has come to stop and let someone else replace me. Now, the time has come for me to go fishing,” said Johansson, who has been in the post since 1990 and took on Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency in 1998.

Johansson had been encouraged by German legend Franz Beckenbauer, head of the organising committee for the 2006 World Cup finals, to stand again.

At present the only candidate to officially declare himself is former French footballing great Michel Platini, who was elected on to the UEFA executive committee in 2002.