Platini withdraws from Fifa presidential race
Michel Platini has withdrawn his candidacy for the Fifa presidency in order to clear his name following his eight-year ban from football.
Platini will appeal the sanction handed down by Fifa's ethics committee over an alleged "disloyal payment" made by Sepp Blatter to the Frenchman in 2011.
In an interview with French sports newspaper L'Equipe, an extract of which was published on Thursday, he said: "I am no longer putting myself forward to be president of Fifa, I have withdrawn my candidacy.
"I cannot do it, I do not have the time to see voters, meet people, to fight with the others. By removing myself, I have made the choice to dedicate myself to my defence."
The election to replace Blatter - who is also serving an eight-year ban - at the head of the game's governing body is scheduled for February 26.
"There is a timing issue but it's not just that," Platini added. "How can one win an election when you are unable to campaign?"
Platini has suggested he will take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but has been told by Fifa that he must go through their own appeals committee first.