FORMER Zambian football icon Kalusha Bwalya has withdrawn from the FIFA council race.

Bwalya, a CAF committee member who was one of the three contenders that included strong Ghanaian Football Federation president Kwesi Nyantakyi and Leodegar Tenga of Tanzania made the announcement to just 12 days before the elections in Addis Ababa on March 16.

The former Africa footballer of the year and former FAZ president said he made the decision after introspection and decided to pull out for the sake of ‘unity’ in football.

“After a lot of soul searching, I have decided to step aside from the upcoming FIFA council member seat for the sake of peace in football,” Kalusha told

“I want to take this opportunity to wish both Kwesi Nyantakyi and Leodegar Tenga the best in the upcoming elections as they seek to foster more relationships for Africa.”

The elections are slated for March 16 in Addis Ababa where other positions will also be contested including the CAF presidency.