Suspended Uefa president Michel Platini on Thursday withdrew from the race to become the next Fifa president, telling L’Equipe that he will concentrate on clearing his name instead.
“I will not present myself for the presidency of Fifa. I am withdrawing my candidature. I no longer have the time nor the means to go to the voters, to meet people, to fight against the other candidates,” said Platini in reference to the January 26 deadline for nominations to succeed Sepp Blatter.
“In withdrawing, I am dedicating myself to my defence.”
Platini and Blatter were suspended for eight years by Fifa’s ethics committee over a 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million/1.8 million euro) payment made to Platini in 2011 for work carried out between 1999 and 2002.
The 60-year-old Platini added that his eight-year ban has made it impossible for him to have any kind of constructive campaign to take the sport’s most powerful job.
The new Fifa president will be revealed on February 26.