KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) Michel Platini's chances of becoming the new president of FIFA received a boost Thursday when the Asian Football Confederation chief praised him as ''a unique candidate'' and urged his member nations to unite behind a single candidate.

AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said Platini ''would bring stability and a smooth transition to normality for FIFA in this difficult situation'' but stopped short of formally endorsing the Frenchman to replace the outgoing Sepp Blatter as head of the corruption-stained world body.

The AFC backed Blatter in this year's presidential election despite the fact his challenger Prince Ali bin Hussein came from an AFC member nation; Jordan.

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Former FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-joon of South Korea has also signaled his intention to stand in the Feb. 26 election.