DUSHANBE, October 3, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Michel Platini, is expected to pay visit to Tajikistan in mid-October.

Valery Tursunov, Vice-President of Tajikistan’s Football Federation (TFF), says Platini’s visit to Tajikistan is part of his tour of Central Asia.  “The exact date of Platini’s visit to Tajikistan will become known after October 5,” Tursunov noted.

“During his stay in Dushanbe, Michel Platini will hold talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and the TFF President Rustam Emomali,” the TFF vice-president noted.

Born on June 21, 1955, Michel Francois Platini was a member of the French national team that won the 1984 European Championship, a tournament in which he was the top goals corer and voted the best player.  He participated in the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups, reaching the semi-finals in the latter two. Platini, Alain Giresse, Luis Fernandez and Jean Tigana together made up the "carré magique" (French for "magic square"), the group of midfield players that formed the heart of the French national team throughout the 1980s.  He is also widely regarded as one of the best passers in football history as well as one of history''s greatest free kick specialists and finishers.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer. UEFA represents most of the national football associations of Europe, runs national and club competitions in its area, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those competitions. Due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia transcontinental nations such as Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Cyprus, and Russia, are members of the UEFA rather than AFC, as is Israel which lies entirely in Asia (Israel and Kazakhstan are former AFC members). There are members that do not represent sovereign states, such as the Faroe Islands, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (Irish FA).  However no unrecognized nations are members of UEFA, with Monaco being the only European UN member not a member of UEFA.  UEFA is the biggest of six continental confederations of FIFA.  Of all the confederations, it is by far the strongest in terms of wealth and influence at the club level.  Virtually all of the world''s top players play in European leagues in part due to the salaries available from the world''s wealthiest football clubs, particularly in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.