Just one day ahead of an Ethics Committee hearing into bribery charges, Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar pull out his candidacy for the post of FIFA president on Saturday, Reuters reported.
62-year old Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation, was due to stand against Sepp Blatter in the election to choose the head of FIFA at its Congress in Zurich on Wednesday.
Along with Hammam, Blatter and Jack Warner, the president of CONCACAF, are also due to face the Ethics Committee on Sunday.
I made the decision to run for the FIFA presidency because I was and remain committed to change within FIFA, said Bin Hammam in a statement. However, recent events have left me hurt and disappointed -- on a professional and personal level, he added.
Bin Hammam said, I cannot allow the name that I loved to be dragged more and more in the mud because of competition between two individuals. He further added that the game itself and the people who love it around the world must come first. It is for this reason that I announce my withdrawal from the presidential election, he said.
After Bin Hammam out of the race, Blatter should be re-elected as president by the acclamation of the 208-member Congress. However, it's not certain yet and will depend on what happens on Sunday, Reuters reported.