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Johansson hits back at Fifa boss

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19:43 CET+01:00
Lennart Johansson, the Swedish head of European football organisation UEFA, hit back Monday at comments made by FIFA counterpart Joseph Blatter expressing his sympathy for the Swede's rival for the presidency of European football's governing body.

French football legend Michel Platini, 51, will be up against sitting president Johansson, 77, at the January 26 vote in Dusseldorf, Germany.

But Johansson has been infuriated by comments made by Blatter, whose FIFA organisation is football's governing body, stating that his "sympathy" lay with Platini.

"Let's say I feel more of a footballer than a manager," said Blatter.

And in a statement issued by the Swedish Football Federation, Johansson said: "I was a bit surprised by comments made by Mr Blatter.

"The FIFA president pushed me to go for another term in office and offered me his support at the time. I respect the FIFA president and I'm sure that his (earlier) words still hold."

Johansson said he did not want to be drawn into "character assassination".

"I was saddened by certain comments made by Mr Platini when he was questioned on the reasons behind my candidature, my physical condition for this post and the fact that I don't live in Nyon (UEFA headquarters).

"I'm fit, in good health, I have a positive outlook and have been boosted by the support I've received," the Swede added.

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