LONDON (REUTERS) - David Ginola's unlikely bid for the Fifa presidency appeared to end on Thursday when his campaign website said all financial donations would be returned.
Ginola launched his doomed attempt to oust Sepp Blatter as head of world soccer's ruling body two weeks ago, assuming the role of the "fans' champion" under the slogan of "Rebooting Football".
It was exposed as little more than a publicity stunt, however, when a bookmaking firm said it had paid the former France winger £250,000 (S$511,000) to stand.
"A huge thank you for supporting Team Ginola. The funding page is now closed. All donations will be returned to those that have pledged," read a statement on www.teamginola.com.
"The fight is not over. Football still needs to change. I urge you to continue to vocalise your craving for change in football in whatever way you can.
"Let it be known that no matter how small you think your voice may be alone, if we speak together we will be heard. Whilst Fifa may not be an open democracy for the footballing public, our opinions will be heeded, only if we persist."
Former Portugal midfielder Luis Figo on Wednesday became the latest to throw his hat in the ring to challenge Blatter, along with Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, former Fifa official Jerome Champagne of France and Dutch FA president Michael van Praag.
Blatter, 78, is bidding for a fifth term in office.