Monday Kickoff: Blatter confirms FIFA candidacy; Reus injures ankle; and more

Monday Kickoff: Blatter confirms FIFA candidacy; Reus injures ankle; and more

European Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Blatter confirms FIFA candidacy; Reus injures ankle; and more

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SeppBlatterFIFA8 (Reuters)

By DAN KARELL

Sepp Blatter has made the news official. He’s running for a fifth term.

Despite promising in the run up to the 2011 FIFA presidential election that it would be his last, Blatter has unsurprisingly decided to run again for FIFA’s highest office, where he is almost surely a shoe-in to win again in next year’s elections.

Blatter confirmed his intention to run again in a recorded message to delegates at the Soccerex convention in Manchester, England.

“You see a mission is never finished. And my mission is not finished,” the 78-year-old Blatter said, via Reuters. “Then I got (from) the last (FIFA) congress in Sao Paulo not only the impression but the support of the majority, a huge majority of national associations asking ‘Please go on, be our president also in future.’ Now I would make an official declaration definitely in September (to stand)… when we have the executive committee.

“I will inform the executive committee. It’s a question of respect also to say then to the football family, ‘Yes I will be ready. I will be a candidate.'”

Blatter’s top potential opposition, UEFA president Michel Platini, pulled out of the race to become FIFA president, claiming he preferred to remain as UEFA president. Former FIFA executive Jerome Champaign is the only other candidate so far who has announced that he will run for the presidency.

Here are some more stories to kick off your week:

REUS INJURES SAME ANKLE IN GERMANY WIN

Germany picked up a big win to start off Euro 2016 qualification on a positive note, but for the second time since June, they’ve suffered a massive scare with a Marco Reus injury.

The star Borussia Dortmund midfielder missed out on the World Cup after tearing ankle ligaments in Germany’s final friendly match before heading to Brazil, and last Sunday, Reus suffered an ankle injury late in the 2-1 victory over Scotland in Dortmund. Reus limped off the field and was substituted in stoppage time.

Although the injury is on the same left ankle that just healed following surgery, Germany coach Joachim Löw is optimistic for Reus quick recovery.

“Reus turned his ankle again and it is the same one as the one against Armenia,” Löw said following the match. “Initial diagnosis suggests it may not be as bad as before the World Cup. But we will have to wait for more checks.”

RIBERY COULD BE BANNED FOR REFUSING CALL-UPS

Franck Ribery announced his international retirement earlier this summer, but some in French soccer think he’s retired too soon.

In an interview with German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, UEFA president Michel Platini threatened suspension as a consequence for refusing a call-up, and called on Ribery to play for France as they prepare to host Euro 2016 in less than two years time.

“Ribery can’t just decide himself whether he plays for France or not,” Platini said. “If (France) coach Didier Deschamps calls him up, he has to go to the national team. If he doesn’t he’ll be suspended.”

“He’s French, the European Championship is in France in 2016, not Poland. He has to want to play.”

France coach Didier Deschamps has not decided whether he’ll call up Ribery for Les Blues’ next slate of matches in October.

QUICK KICKS

Andrea Pirlo has admitted that former Juventus coach and current Italian National Team manager Antonio Conte convinced Pirlo to continue with the Azzurri. (REPORT)

England will likely be without Jordan Henderson after he limped out of training ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifying match at Switzerland. (REPORT)

Maicon has been removed from Brazil’s squad by head coach Dunga for “internal problems,” and has been replaced with U-21 player Fabinho. (REPORT)

Brazilian centerback David Luiz meanwhile has been ruled out of Brazil’s Tuesday friendly against Ecuador due to a minor knee injury. (REPORT)

Dani Carvajal has suffered a hamstring injury and will play no part in Spain’s match against Macedonia on Monday evening. (REPORT)

Chivas de Guadalajara returned to the win column on Sunday with a 3-0 victory over city rivals Universidad de Guadalajara. (REPORT)

Fluminense forward Kenedy’s 88th minute goal saved a point for his side in a wild 3-3 draw with Cruzeiro at the Maracana. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you expect Blatter to win election to a fifth term? Are you worried for Reus after being injured again? What do you think of Platini’s statements on Ribery?

Share your thoughts below.

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