Wolfgang Niersbach, the German Football Federation chief says he’s told FIFA boss Sepp Blatter he should become honorary president and not stand again for the presidency of the sport’s governing body.

Niersbach said FIFA could regain “a positive image only with different faces at the top.”

Niersbach revealed he told Blatter in a private conversation, “I’d find it good if he became honorary president.”

Niersbach hopes to be Europe’s next representative on FIFA’s executive committee when current board member Theo Zwanziger steps down next year.

“I’m standing for this election because I want to defend the European position (in FIFA) and I’m convinced that German football should not lose its voice on the most important decisions,” the 63-year-old said last November.

He was at one point tipped to stand against Blatter, but declined to do so.

Blatter, who has been in charge of football’s governing body since 1998 and has somehow survived numerous scandals, is seeking re-election for a fifth term.

Three rival candidates, all supported by UEFA, are running against Blatter: Michael van Praag of the Netherlands, Portugal great Luis Figo, and FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan.

FIFA’s electoral committee has approved Blatter and the three rivals for the world governing body’s presidential elections on 29 May.