Berlin: Out-going FIFA president Sepp Blatter is alleged to be behind the distribution of a negative article criticising his UEFA counterpart Michel Platini, according to German daily Die Welt on Sunday.
Platini, 60, is the favourite to succeed Blatter, 79, in February`s election for a new FIFA president and there is an on-going feud between the pair.
The 1400-word article, "Platini: A skeleton in the closet" written by Swiss journalist Thomas Renggli, had been previously printed in a Swiss newspaper, and paints an unflattering picture of the former French international.
"The amazing thing about the text is rather its origin: The article was sent directly from FIFA headquarters in Zurich to various newspaper offices - with a request to reprint, but without reference to the author," wrote Die Welt.
"Blatter himself is said to have ordered the article to put the brakes on Platini, his former friend and current nemesis, in view of his presidential candidacy."
Gianni Infantino, the general secretary of European football`s governing body UEFA, has written to his FIFA counterpart Jerome Valcke to ask for the matter to be investigated.
A copy of the letter was sent to both FIFA`s independent ethics committee and it`s audit and compliance committee.
This is just the latest development in the feud between the pair.
On Saturday, Blatter alleged, in Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, that Platini warned him he faced prison if he did not withdraw from the FIFA presidential race and claimed the warning was made to the Swiss official`s brother in May.
But a source close to Platini, contacted by AFP, described the claim as "ridiculous".