LISBON: Luis Figo has dismissed reports that he is poised to quit the race to become FIFA president,
Portugal’s former World Player of the Year had been reported by De Volkskrant in Holland as planning to make the announcement at a joint news conference with fellow candidate Michael Van Praag.
The newspaper, claiming “sources close to FIFA”, suggested that both men would step aside to throw their support behind Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein.
However a spokesman working for Figo’s campaign told Reuters: “We reiterate what we said on the first day.
“Luis is an independent candidate and he will keep being independent. He will not travel to Holland, contrary to what the rumours say.”
Figo, Van Praag and Prince Ali met in Switzerland to discuss their strategy ahead of their challenge to incumbent Sepp Blatter at FIFA Congress on Friday of next week.
A spokesman for Van Praag said: “We can confirm that there have been planned discussions between the candidates regarding the possibility to join forces.
“Our shared, collective goal is to achieve change within FIFA – it is good that there is a growing international coalition striving for that goal.
“That is our main focus now, it is too soon to talk about which candidate might have the biggest chance.”
The prospect of any of the three pushing the election to a second round of voting would be reduced if even one of them pulled out.
Quitting would also deny any of the trio the right to a 15-minute slot in congress expounding their campaign – a right denied them by the confederation congresses of Africa, Asia, central/north America and South America.