Tokyo Sexwale pulls out before first round of FIFA presidential vote
Tokyo Sexwale withdrew from the FIFA presidential race minutes before the vote in Zurich on Friday (February 26), announcing his decision at the very end of his candidate's speech.
"I have got a surprise for you: my campaign ends today and I suspend my participation. With only four people, it is your problem now," he told delegates at the extraordinary FIFA Congress.
"I am prepared to serve under the new president."
The South African businessman and politician was one of five candidates standing to lead soccer's scandal-plagued governing body out of the worst crisis in its 112-year history.
There had been speculation throughout Sexwale's low-key campaign that he could pull out.
Sexwale had not been backed by his own African soccer confederation, with CAF making public in January its support of Asian confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa of Bahrain.