Figo was reacting on Wednesday to a story published earlier in the day by Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. A spokesman working for Figo's campaign told Reuters from Lisbon: "We reiterate what we said on the first day.

"Luis is an independent candidate and he will keep being independent. He will not travel to Holland, contrary to what the rumours say."

Figo and Van Praag, along with Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, are all standing against incumbent Sepp Blatter at the election at the FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29.

They have met at least once in the last two weeks to discuss their strategies, and to consider if all three would continue with their bids.

A spokesman for Van Praag said the candidates had met, and told reporters: "We can confirm that there have been planned  discussions between the candidates regarding the possibility to join forces.

"Our shared, collective goal is to achieve change within FIFA - it is good that there is a growing international coalition striving for that goal. "That is our main focus now, it is too soon to talk about which candidate might have the biggest chance."

The report De Volkskrant said Figo and Van Praag would jointly end their campaigns on Thursday.

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