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Russia plan squad purge for World Cup

Russia
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

UEFA to attend FIFA congress and back Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein

UEFA will not boycott Friday's FIFA congress ahead of plans to unite behind FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein.

UEFA president Michel Platini has also not ruled out the possibility of a World Cup boycott by UEFA members if Sepp Blatter is re-elected as FIFA president.

The European football body had called for Friday's congress, when voting for the FIFA presidential election will take place, to be postponed after Swiss authorities arrested several top FIFA officials on Wednesday relating to federal corruption charges.

Current president Sepp Blatter -- who is seeking a fifth four-year term in Friday's election -- called together leaders of FIFA's six regions on Thursday.

Platini spoke privately with Blatter on Thursday morning and urged him to quit, but the Swiss refused.

Platini added at a news conference on Thursday that a large majority of UEFA member nations will vote for Prince Ali and admitted that, if the 79-year-old Blatter were to win a fifth term in office, UEFA would have some tough decisions to make when its members meet again in Berlin next week before the Champions League final.

Asked if a boycott of FIFA competitions was a possibility, Platini said: "UEFA associations will meet in Berlin next week. We will be open to all options."

Pressed further on the prospect of a World Cup boycott, Platini added: "There may be proposals. I honestly don't wish that."

The Asian Football Confederation, meanwhile, says it still supports Blatter's bid for another term as FIFA president, and opposes any move to delay Friday's scheduled elections in the wake of a string of corruption arrests of some of the federation's top officials.

In a statement on its website, the AFC expressed its "disappointment and sadness" at Wednesday's events but also said it "reiterates its decision taken at the AFC Congress in Sao Paulo in 2014 ... to support FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter."

David Gill, the FA vice-chairman and Manchester United director, will resign from FIFA's executive committee if Blatter is re-elected as president.

"Seismic events happened yesterday and if he [Blatter] can't see the enormity of what has happened and resign then I recognise that to be on that body would be futile," Gill said.

"I don't think that is right for me and more importantly I don't think that's right for UEFA and football.

"In Prince Ali we have a very credible and plausible candidate who can take FIFA forward and I would be delighted to work for him in a new FIFA."

Gill was to replace Jim Boyce in holding the FIFA vice presidency guaranteed for British nations.

Information from the Press Association and the Associated Press was used in this report.

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