Van Praag withdraws candidacy to become FIFA president

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Michael Van Praag

FIFA presidential candidate Michael van Praag has withdrawn from next week’s election and thrown his weight behind Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan.

The Dutch Football president said  he had made the decision after thorough deliberation and reflection with different stakeholders.

“Michael van Praag has, after extensive consultations with various parties and stakeholders, decided to join next FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Al Hussein,” the KNVB declared on its website.

Van Praag’s announcement has left Jordan’s Prince Ali and former Portugal international Luis Figo as the only challengers to incumbent Sepp Blatter, who at , 79, is runaway favorite to secure a fifth mandate at the election.

A statement from Van Praag’s office said: “After thorough deliberation and reflection with different involved parties and stakeholders, Michael van Praag decided to withdraw his candidacy to become the next FIFA president and to join forces with presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein.”

The vote will be held in Zurich at Fifa’s annual congress and requires the winning candidate to secure a two-thirds majority in the first round of voting.

Van became president of the KNVB in 2008 and is a member of the Executive Committee of European football association UEFA since 2009.

Of Blatter’s three challengers, Van Praag was the most outspoken critic of the Swiss administrator.

– Theguardian