Luis Figo has withdrawn from FIFA presidency race. The Portuguese and Real Madrid great released a statement to confirm his decision, taking a swipe at the election process.
“Over the past few months I have not only witnessed that desire [for change], I have witnessed consecutive incidents, all over the world, that should shame anyone who desires soccer to be free, clean and democratic,” his statement reads.
“I have seen with my own eyes federation presidents who, after one day comparing Fifa leaders to the devil, then go on stage and compare those same people with Jesus Christ. Nobody told me about this. I saw it with my own eyes.
“The candidates were prevented from addressing federations at congresses while one of the candidates always gave speeches on his own from the rostrum. There has not been a single public debate about each candidate’s proposals.
“This [election] process is a plebiscite for the delivery of absolute power to one man – something I refuse to go along with.
“That is why, after a personal reflection and sharing views with two other candidates in this process, I believe that what is going to happen on May 29 in Zurich is not a normal electoral act.
“And because it is not, don’t count on me. My decision is made, I will not stand in what is being called an election for the Fifa presidency.
“I offer my deepest thanks to all those who have supported me and I ask them to keep alive their desire for a regeneration which, though it may take some time, will come.”