FIFA : Tokyo Sexwale withdraws from FIFA presidential race
FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale withdrew from the race during Friday’s election in Zurich.
FIFA is currently in the process of electing a successor to Sepp Blatter, who resigned the presidency, a role he had held since 1998, with an announcement due this afternoon.
South African businessman Sexwale has left the election before the first round of voting, leaving Prince Ali, Sheikh Salman, Jerome Champagne and Gianni Infantino on the ballot.
The South African was originally one of five candidates, including Gianni Infantino, Sheikh Salman, Prince Ali and Jerome Champagne, in the running to be elected Sepp Blatter‘s successor.
However, during his address to congress, of which each candidate was given 15 minutes to speak, the 62-year-old confirmed that he was dropping out of the race.
Sexwale, the final candidate to give his 15-minute pre-election speech, used the platform to confirm his withdrawal from the race.
“My candidacy ends today,” said Sexwale. “I end my participation. I leave you four candidates. It’s your problem now. I am prepared to serve under the next president. My campaign is suspended as of now.”
Sexwale was not expected to receive enough votes to be elected because Asian Football Confederation President Sheikh Salman and UEFA general secretary Infantino are the overwhelming favourites for the position.
That came moments after Sexwale said: “If Gianni wins it will be a party. If Jerome wins it will be a party. If Sheikh Salman wins it will be a party. If Prince Ali wins it will be a party. But if I win, it will be a greater party!”
“It was a surprise but he wasn’t likely to get more than five votes,” Sky Sports News HQ reporter Kaveh Solhekol said. “I don’t think he wanted to stand there in front of the world and finish last.
“He is a proud man and he probably would have been humiliated, so he’s pulled out in a very graceful way.”