Van Praag to withdraw from race for FIFA presidency

Van Praag to withdraw from race for FIFA presidency
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Published May 20th, 2015 - 15:56 GMT via

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Michael van Praag
Michael van Praag

Michael van Praag, the chief of the Netherlands Football Association, wishes to withdraw his bid to become FIFA president, a Dutch newspaper reported Wednesday.

Van Praag wants to step back from the race to increase support for Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein in the bid to topple incumbent Joseph Blatter, De Volkskrant newspaper said, citing sources within FIFA.

Former Portugal star Luis Figo is also tipped to give up his candidacy with the newspaper suggesting he, alongside Van Praag and Prince Ali, would appear at a press conference in the Netherlands Thursday to make the announcement supporting the Jordianian association boss.

However Van Praag has not confirmed his withdrawal, though his team did say the intention was to unite behind one candidate.

"Our common goal is to achieve a change in FIFA - it's good that a growing international coalition strives for this goal," a spokesman told dpa. "That's our focus. It's too early to talk about which candidate has the best chance."

Van Praag and Figo withdrawing would leave Prince Ali as the sole candidate challenging Blatter, who is searching for a fifth term, in the election held at the FIFA congress in Zurich on May 29.

Despite European governing body UEFA calling on Blatter to be replaced, the 79-year-old Swiss remains favourite to secure the votes needed from the 209 FIFA associations to remain in office.

© 2015 dpa GmbH

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