Ginola calls time on FIFA presidency bid
David Ginola has withdrawn his bid to become FIFA president after failing to earn the required backing from five football associations.
The Frenchman launched his campaign to stand against incumbent Sepp Blatter in May’s election earlier this month, declaring his intention “reboot bootball” in the wake of the corruption scandals that have engulfed the game’s governing body over recent years.
But Ginola's candidacy instantly courted controversy due to its financial backing from a well-known bookmaker, making the prospect of him securing nominations from national associations appear remote ahead of Thursday's midnight deadline.
The ex-Newcastle United and Tottenham winger remained defiant on Thursday when a crowdfunding page to support his campaign was closed down, but he admitted defeat just a day later.
"I have to conclude that having not obtained confirmation of the required five nominations by the deadline that unfortunately I will not be able to continue with my FIFA presidential candidacy," Ginola said in a statement.
"Contrary to some reports, I did not withdraw. Just as I did as a player, I gave everything until the final whistle.
"Today I have mixed emotions. There is disappointment, anger but there is also hope. I'm very proud of my campaign and the policies I proposed to reform football.
"I have sent the detailed policy document to all of the 209 Member Associations as well as to the presidents of the six Confederations, including Mr Blatter of FIFA and Michel Platini of UEFA.
"If in the coming months and years even one of my ideas is discussed at the highest level then this will be a victory. Already I feel we have created some hope that the people who love football can have their voice heard and make a difference.
"I want to thank all those who supported me: football fans, member associations, players and journalists. I am a stronger person for this experience.
"I have no regrets. And the fight to put transparency, democracy and equality at the heart of the game we love goes on."
KNVB president Michael van Praag and former Portugal international Luis Figo have joined Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein in standing against Blatter.