ZURICH (AP) — Sepp Blatter says he definitely will not be a candidate in the next FIFA presidential election on Feb. 26.
Blatter said at a news conference Monday: "I will not be a candidate for the election in 2016."
Asked to dispel any doubt that he would go back on his promises to leave, Blatter folded his arms and chuckled.
He said: "On the 26th of February FIFA will have a new president. I cannot be the new president because I am the old president."
Four days after being re-elected in May, Blatter announced that he would resign as FIFA president. However, speculation has continued that he would try to remain.
FIFA says would-be candidates can declare their interest immediately and apply until Oct. 26.
Blatter says: "I wish all the candidates best success and also to Michel Platini," the UEFA president and current front-runner to replace him.