Michel Platini has put himself in the running to replace Sepp Blatter as Fifa president in February's election.
Four continental football federations have given the president of Uefa their backing prompting him to announce his candidacy.
In a letter sent to the presidents and general secretaries of Fifa's 209 member associations, Platini said:
This was a very personal, carefully considered decision, one in which I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future. I was also guided by the esteem, support and encouragement that many of you have shown me.
Platini is thought to have the support of Uefa, the AFC (Asia), Conmebol (South America) and Concacaf (North and Central America) in any bid for football's top job.
The 60-year-old former France midfielder is a well-established figure in football, having led Uefa since 2007. He received the backing of FA chairman Greg Dyke who said last month that Platini has "now got to lead the opposition [to Blatter]".
Read more: Dyke urges Platini to lead World Cup boycott
An extraordinary congress has been called for 26 February 2016 to vote on Blatter's replacement after the under-fire Fifa boss announced he would step down from the role he's held since 1998.
Although he's still getting pats on the back from Vladimir Putin, Blatter took the decision to step down last month shortly after seven Fifa officials were arrested on charges of corruption from the US Department of Justice, and a separate Swiss investigation was opened into the bidding process into the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
In his letter Platini made reference to the recent developments:
During this last half-century or so, FIFA has only had two presidents. This extreme stability is something of a paradox in a world that has experienced radical upheavals and in a sport that has undergone considerable economic change. However, recent events force the supreme governing body of world football to turn over a new leaf and rethink its governance.
Fifa has set up a reform task force to combat the issue and is currently in the process of appointing someone from outside the organisation to head the process.
Platini will face competition from Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, who lost to Blatter earlier this year, and current vice president Chung Mong-Joon.