Gianni Infantino will withdraw from the race to become FIFA president if Michel Platini’s suspension is lifted.
UEFA president Platini has launched a campaign to succeed Sepp Blatter at the head of football’s governing body but his candidacy is invalid while he serves a 90-day suspension from football as part of an investigation into alleged corruption.
UEFA general secretary Infantino stated he was “honoured” to submit his own name ahead of the elections next February but has now claimed he will not continue to stand should it mean competing against Platini.
“Platini is my president and I’ve worked with him for the past nine years,” he said to La Gazzetta dello Sport. “It’s clear I have his support, otherwise I wouldn’t have been a candidate.
“And I want to make one thing clear: my candidacy isn’t against Michel. If he can take part, I will remove myself. However, at this time I am 100 per cent the candidate and I will continue.”
Infantino explained his desire to stand up and assume a position of responsibility for the global game is what prompted him to accept UEFA’s suggestion that he run for Blatter’s role.
“I could have continued as UEFA secretary and allow football to fall into further ruin, or I could show my face and work for the game,” he added.
“Being at the top doesn’t just mean watching games, it means taking responsibility, which is why I said yes with humility and respect.”
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Musa Bility, Jerome Champagne, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale are the other candidates vying for the top job in FIFA.
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