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Tokyo Sexwale pulls out before first round of FIFA presidential vote

FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale of South Africa makes a speech during the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale of South Africa makes a speech during the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - South African Tokyo Sexwale pulled out of the race to become the next president of FIFA on Friday, announcing in mid-speech that he was suspending his campaign with immediate effect.

Sexwale had been seen as the outsider in the five-man race.

“I have got a surprise for you. My campaign ends today and I suspend my participation. With only four people, it is your problem now," he said, speaking after the other four candidates.

Sexwale had not been backed by his own African confederation, with CAF making public in January its support of Asian confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Writing by Hugh Lawson; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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