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I regret pulling out of FIFA presidential polls, says Luis Figo

Former Portuguese footballer says he feels contrite over withdrawing his candidature from world-governing body's presidential race last year over Swiss Sepp Blatter's high-handedness

Former Portuguese footballer Luis Figo yielded that he regretted withdrawing his candidature from the FIFA presidential elections last year.

Former Portuguese footballer Luis Figo during the launch of Premier Futsal, a five-a-side football tournament at a city hotel yesterday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Former Portuguese footballer Luis Figo during the launch of Premier Futsal, a five-a-side football tournament at a city hotel yesterday. Pic/Suresh Karkera

The 43-year-old withdrew his candidature in May last year, and saw tainted chief Sepp Blatter get re-elected as president.

Later, Gianni Infantino replaced Blatter as FIFA chief in freshly-conducted elections in February this year.

'I had no chance'
"Like I said, after pulling out, I had no chance to win in a democratic way and to fight for a normal election. It was not that someone was telling me about the situation and the facts that happened during the Congress and after that, I felt I didn't have any kind of chances, but I regret now," Figo told mediapersons during the launch of Premier Futsal, a five-a-side franchise-based eight-city league set to kick off in July.

The former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan player backed current FIFA chief Infantino to bring back credibility to world football's governing body.

"I have hope in Infantino because he was the candidate I supported. He also supported me when I was the candidate. So, basically we share the same ideas about what FIFA needs to do to get back its credibility," said the UEFA Champions League winner.

Meanwhile, the franchise-based million dollar Indian Super League hasn't missed his attention. However, the former Portugal winger dismissed the idea of taking up a coaching in the cash-rich league.

"I don't have the license to coach, so I' m not thinking about taking up a role as a manager. Since I have retired from professional football, I didn't want to follow that path again," said Figo, who has a record 127 Portuguese national caps to his name.

'Futsal instills control and quick-thinking'

Former Real Madrid and Barcelona footballer Luis Figo launched India's first multi-national franchise-based futsal league, Premier Futsal in the city yesterday.'

Futsal, a five-a-side version of football comprises two 20-minute halves, and Figo said he began his love for the game playing this version in Portugal as a kid.

"Back in Portugal, I played futsal while growing up and it instilled quick thinking, skills and close control.

Most footballers have played futsal before going on to become top players," said Figo, who will be the president of the new footbal league.

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