SANTIAGO - Former Chile captain Elias
Figueroa has decided not to run for FIFA president in June,
citing little time to prepare a creditable platform from which
to try to wrest power from Sepp Blatter.
The 64-year-old Figueroa, three times South American Player
of the Year in the 1970s, had been the choice of a group called
Change FIFA to stand against Blatter and Asian Confederation
chief Mohamed bin Hammam in the June 1 vote in Zurich.
"I have decided not to accept... for the sole reason that I'm
sure with such a short time in which to state a case I could not
prepare one worthy of the magnitude and importance of such a
distinguished job," Figueroa said in a statement on Wednesday.
The former central defender, who shone for Penarol of
Uruguay and Brazil's Internacional and played in three World
Cups, said last week he was considering Change FIFA's proposal
and that there was backing from a national football association.
Figueroa did not reveal which association was involved but
Change FIFA criticised Chile's ANFP for not supporting him.
"We are surprised that the ANFP should not want to name
Elias. If they did so it was be big news... How can they treat
their idols with such disrespect?" Oliver Fowler, a member of
Change FIFA, was quoted as saying in the Chilean newspaper El
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