Tokyo Sexwale pulls out of Fifa's presidential race
Tokyo Sexwale made the announcement during the first round of voting in Zurich.
JOHANNESBURG - Tokyo Sexwale has withdrawn from the Fifa Presidential Election.
The South African businessman made the announcement a short while ago during the first round of voting in Zurich.
"You don't have to elect me as president. I have a surprise for you; my campaign ends today and I suspend my participation. I leave only four people, it's your problem now. Tokyo Sexwale will not go further to cause division because I am a candidate for bringing people together."
BREAKING: Tokyo Sexwale has withdrawn from the #FIFA Presidential Election.— EWN Sport (@EWNsport) February 26, 2016
Sexwale delivered his speech before the congress in Zurich, speaking after the other four candidates in the running for the governing body's top job.
He spoke of championing the cause of unity and conceded that whoever the congress elects, he would fully support them.
Sexwale says he does not want to be part of a division in Fifa.
"So out of the four, decide which one we will elect as president and I will serve under that person. One day I hope we will elect a woman."
Sexwale says Fifa can't afford any more division and his withdrawal from the presidential race will help forge unity.
He says Fifa can only grow if it's united.
The South African businessman and former 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's been speculation throughout Sexwale's low-key campaign that he could pull out, but he began his speech by saying: "I am a soldier and I die with my boots on."
Two weeks ago, The Confederation of African Football (Caf) snubbed Sexwale, opting to throw its weight behind Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa for Fifa president.
Sexwale was Africa's only candidate for the most powerful position.
He hadn't managed to secure the public vote of his own federation, the South African Football Association.
The new president will take over from disgraced Sepp Blatter, who has been banned from football for six years.