Strategic pull-out possible for Sepp Blatter rivals
FIFA presidential candidates Michael van Praag and Luis Figo on Thursday left open the possibility of a strategic withdrawal to unite the vote against runaway leader Sepp Blatter. Speaking at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) congress in Bahrain, neither rejected the option although they insisted it had not been discussed.
Van Praag, Figo and Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al Hussein are considered to be some way behind the support enjoyed by Blatter, who will be seeking a landslide win on May 29.
Van Praag and Figo sat next to each other at the five-hour congress but the Dutch FA boss said he didn’t discuss any vote strategy with the former Real Madrid galactico.
“I’m not going to discuss that through the media... if that is up for discussion okay, if we meet we can discuss it.
But I’m not going to discuss it through (media),” he told AFP.
Figo gave a vague response when asked about the prospect of one or more candidates withdrawing, giving the impression that it could be under consideration. “If I tell you the truth, I don’t know what’s going to happen. You know in this world, everything can happen and I don’t even know what’s going to happen on Saturday,” he said.
Blatter, 79, is frequently criticised outside of football’s national associations but he enjoys strong support among FIFA members, making him hot favourite for a fifth term.