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Emmanuel Petit wants to be FFF president in 2016

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PARIS (AP) -Former France midfielder Emmanuel Petit wants to become the president of the French Football Federation in 2016.

Petit won the World Cup with France in 1998 and then the European Championship two years later.

"When there are things to say, it's fine doing it on television, but I want to do it in the corridors. I am ready to invest myself in football in a political way," Petit said in an interview with France Football magazine. "Before starting a political campaign, you have to be sure of the plan you want to put in place."

The 42-year-old Petit wants to increase the role of sport in French society, stop international players from getting paid bonuses, develop the amateur game, and help women have a bigger role in football.

"I don't think you need bonuses to play for your country. It's a question of citizenship. I've got nothing against professional football, but they have to realize that they wouldn't exist without amateur football," he said. "Promoting women's football is good, but you also have to help women integrate the higher authorities.

"Sport has to find its place in the core of society. Its role has become more and more diluted," the former Arsenal player added. "Culture is important, but sport has to find its place again. Politicians have a condescending attitude toward sport. There are millions of athletes in France, but where was sport during the presidential elections?"

The current FFF president is Noel Le Graet, who is hoping to be re-elected to another four-year term.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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