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‘FIFA Is The Devil’…Figo Pulls Out Of Presidential Election

Luis Figo has joined the league of candidates to withdraw from the Fifa presidential election on 29 May.

The 42-year-old, Ex-Portugal midfielder, pulled out on the same day as Dutchman, Van Pragg, to leave Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan as Blatter’s only rival.

Although 67-year-old Dutchman yet to give his reasons for withdrawing from the election, Figo made his reasons clear in a statement.

“I travelled and met extraordinary people who, though they recognized the value of much that had been done, also concurred with the need for change, one that cleans up Fifa’s reputation as an obscure organization that is so often viewed as a place of corruption,” he said.

“But 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.

“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.”

He also questioned an election process in which a main candidate – Blatter – had not produced a manifesto, “so that federation presidents know what they’re voting for”.

Figo added: “There has not been a single public debate about each candidate’s proposals.”

The latest withdrawal comes after another presidential candidate, Frenchman Jerome Champagne, a former Fifa deputy general secretary, pulled out in February.

Blatter is favourite to win a fifth term as president and Figo said: “This process is anything but an election.”

“This process is a plebiscite for the delivery of absolute power to one man – something I refuse to go along with.”

Each of Fifa’s 209 member associations have a vote in the election and Van Praag, who is president of the Dutch football federation, says he will now support Prince Ali.

The English Football Association also intend to support Prince Ali, while the Scottish FA had previously said they would back Van Praag.

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