Slovenian football association boss Aleksander Ceferin on Wednesday threw his hat into the ring to replace disgraced ex-Uefa president Michel Platini at the helm of European football’s governing body.
The association (NZS) said the decision was taken after Ceferin received the support of 18 nations.
The 48-year-old has backing from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, as well as Italy, Russia, and a host of Balkan countries, according to NZS.
“I believe this is the right moment for me to run for the post. Obviously these nations think that Uefa needs a profile like mine to head the organisation,” Ceferin told Slovenian state radio shortly after the official announcement.
“It’s too early to discuss details (of my campaign), but it will be of great importance that quite a number of reforms are carried out. We have to make Uefa as transparent as possible.”
Last month, Dutch football chief Michel Van Praag became the first to announce his candidature while Uefa’s senior vice-president Angel Maria Villar of Spain is also rumoured to be a contender.
The deadline for submissions for the coveted Uefa post is July 20, with the election taking place in Athens on September 14.
Platini announced his resignation on May 9 after a sports tribunal rejected his final appeal against a-four-year ban over a suspect two million Swiss francs ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) payment he received from world football’s governing body Fifa.