Monaco: UEFA president Michel Platini announced Thursday that he will not challenge Sepp Blatter for the leadership of football's world body in an election next year.
Platini told reporters he would concentrate on a new term in charge of Europe's governing body, leaving the path open for Blatter, 78, to win a fifth four-year term in charge of FIFA.
Platini, who has called on Blatter to stand down next year and for change at the top of world football, said he told UEFA's 54 member states of his decision at a meeting in Monaco on Thursday before making his announcement.
"As you have seen, we are working on some very important projects at UEFA, and I still want to see them through before considering one day moving on to pastures new," Platini said.
"This is not the time, it is not my time. Not yet," he said of a bid for the FIFA presidency.
Platini, 59, said he had "chosen to follow my heart. I have chosen football. I have chosen passion."
"I want to finish what I have started. A bit like when I was a player, and I always saw my contracts through to the end, to honour my commitments.
"Now is no different. I want to see my contract with UEFA through to the end. And if the associations want that too - and from what I saw this morning, they sincerely do - I still have a few years before my contact expires," he said.