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Platini withdraws bid for FIFA presidency

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Michel Platini had been favourite to take over as FIFA president in a February election, but the UEFA leader is suspended because of the Swiss investigation. PHOTO/AFP

Michel Platini had been favourite to take over as FIFA president in a February election, but the UEFA leader is suspended because of the Swiss investigation. PHOTO/AFP

PARIS, January 7 – Suspended UEFA chief Michel Platini on Thursday withdrew from the race to become FIFA president, telling L’Equipe that he will concentrate on clearing his name instead.

“I will not present myself for the presidency of FIFA. I am withdrawing my candidature. I no longer have the time nor the means to go to the voters, to meet people, to fight against the other candidates,” said Platini in reference to the January 26 deadline for nominations to succeed Sepp Blatter.

“In withdrawing, I am dedicating myself to my defence.”

Platini, along with Fifa president Sepp Blatter, has been banned from football-related activities for eight years by world football’s governing body.

Both men were found guilty of breaches surrounding a £1.3m ($2m) “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011.

They are appealing against their bans, but Platini says the timing of the 26 February election means he cannot run.

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