FIFA presidential candidate Luis Figo has dismissed reports claiming he is poised to quit the race to become FIFA president,
The Portuguese has been tipped to make the announcement at a joint news conference in the Netherlands with fellow candidate Michael van Praag.
Figo was reacting to a story published earlier in the day by Dutch publication De Volkskrant. The newspaper, citing sources close to FIFA, claims that Van Praag, the president of the Dutch FA [KNVB], and former Portugal international Figo, will step aside in order to put their support behind the Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein.
A spokesman working for Figo’s campaign told Reuters: “We reiterate what we said on the first day.
“Luis is an independent candidate and he will keep being independent. He will not travel to Holland, contrary to what the rumours say.”
Figo, Van Praag and Prince Ali are all standing against incumbent Sepp Blatter at the election at the FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29.
They have met at least once in the last two weeks to discuss their strategies, and to consider if all three would continue with their bids.
A spokesman for Van Praag said the candidates had met, and told reporters: “We can confirm that there have been planned discussions between the candidates regarding the possibility to join forces.
“Our shared, collective goal is to achieve change within FIFA – it is good that there is a growing international coalition striving for that goal.
“That is our main focus now, it is too soon to talk about which candidate might have the biggest chance.”
The report De Volkskrant said Figo and Van Praag would jointly end their campaigns on Thursday.
the 79-year-old Blatter, who has run football’s governing body since 1998, is still favourite to win the vote, with the Confederation of African Football [CAF] already confirming that they will put all 54 member nations behind him.