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CEO of FIFA sponsor Adidas says UEFA's Michel Platini the best choice to succeed Sepp Blatter

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BERLIN — The chief executive of Adidas, a major FIFA sponsor, believes UEFA President would be the best choice of successor to at the head of world football's governing body.

Herbert Hainer was quoted Friday as telling German weekly Focus: "For me, Platini is the most suitable candidate."

"He leads UEFA, with the best club teams worldwide and the strongest club competition, the Champions League," Hainer added. "He has done a really good job in his two terms in office."

German football federation chief Wolfgang Niersbach would be "the ideal UEFA president" if Platini wins the FIFA leadership, Hainer said.

Former France captain Platini hasn't yet said whether he will look to succeed Blatter in the FIFA presidential election expected in a few months.

Blatter announced his planned exit on June 2 amid a crisis provoked by U.S. and Swiss federal investigations of alleged bribery, racketeering and money laundering, implicating senior FIFA officials. Blatter and Domenico Scala, FIFA's audit and compliance committee chairman, are working together on a slate of modernizing reforms.

Whatever emerges from that process, "FIFA must be positioned in such a way that corruption and bribery can never again be possible," Hainer told Focus.

He said he had several conversations with FIFA officials in recent weeks.

"I can assure you that everyone in Zurich has understood that FIFA must be reset as quickly as possible in terms of transparency," he said.

Hainer said that the events of recent months "have damaged everyone: football, the sponsors, but above all FIFA."

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