Fifa vice-president Chung Mong-joon of South Korea has ruled out standing against Sepp Blatter at next May’s elections for the presidency.
Chung had previously hinted that he was considering running for the top job in world football’s governing body.
But the 58-year-old said on Tuesday that he was “not thinking about running for the presidency in 2011”.
Chung said his main focus is on helping South Korea in its battle to be host the 2022 World Cup finals.
In a keynote address at the Leaders In Football conference in London on 7 October, he said that it was “too early to say there would be no contender [standing against Blatter] next May”.
Asked if he would stand, he said: “I had not thought of that, now you have asked me I will think about it.
“You need competition at the summit… We need to keep Fifa healthy.”
Chung is part of the family which founded and owns South Korea’s Hyundai industrial giant, and is one of the more high profile of Fifa’s eight vice-presidents.
He added that the decision on who hosts the World Cup finals in 2018 and 2022, to be made in December, “might affect the atmosphere of the presidential election next year.”
Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar, president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), has already said he will not stand against Blatter in 2011.
The only declared candidate for May’s election at present is Blatter, 74, who succeeded Joao Havelange as president in 1998 after being elected ahead of the-then Uefa chief Lennart Johansson.
Blatter won again in 2002 after beating off competition from Issa Hayatou, president of the African Confederation (Caf), and was re-elected by unopposed in 2007.