Marios Lefkaritis is set to end his 21-year spell on the UEFA Executive Committee ©Getty Images

Long-standing member Marios Lefkaritis is ending his 21-year spell on the UEFA Executive Committee next month after the Cypriot withdrew as a candidate for re-election.

The 70-year-old, who is also standing down from the FIFA Council in May, joined UEFA's Executive Committee in 1996.

Lefkaritis had previously decided not to stand for re-election on the FIFA Council, of which he has been a member since 2002.

Previously on the board of Cypriot club Apollon Limassol from 1972 to 1977, Lefkaritis was also the President of the Cyprus Football Association from 1991 to 2001.

Following the withdrawal of Lefkaritis, there are now 12 candidates for eight available positions on the Executive Committee, according to UEFA, with the vote to take place at its Congress in Helsinki on April 5.

Lefkaritis was one of 10 FIFA Executive Committee members interviewed with regards to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid processes.

This followed the dawn raids by Swiss Police at the Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich, where seven FIFA officials were arrested as part of the United States Department of Justice investigation into criminal activity within the organisation.

UEFA announced earlier this week that it will hold an Extraordinary Congress to elect an official to serve in their fourth vacant FIFA Council seat following the withdrawal of Iceland's Geir Thorsteinsson.

The decision from Thorsteinsson left European football's governing body with just three candidates for four positions on the body.

Hungary's Sandor Csyani, Cyprus' Costakis Koutsokoumnis and Montenegro's Dejan Savicevic are set to be elected unopposed to the FIFA Council during UEFA's Congress in Helsinki.

Marios Lefkaritis joined UEFA's Executive Committee in 1996 ©Getty Images
Marios Lefkaritis joined UEFA's Executive Committee in 1996 ©Getty Images

They will formally join the Council at FIFA's Congress in Bahrain on May 11.

Each will serve four-year terms, with Germany’s Reinhard Grindel, who is set to replace banned predecessor Wolfgang Niersbach, the only candidate for the two-year role.

The person who is elected at the Extraordinary Congress - the date and location of which has not yet been announced - will complete UEFA's eight-strong contingent on the 37-member FIFA Council.

Changes made by UEFA’s Executive Committee last month mean that that candidates for senior positions must hold an active office in their respective national association.

Thorsteinsson recently retired as the President of the Icelandic Football Association, following a fifth two year term.

Speaking in Iceland, Thorsteinsson claimed the change has led to him pulling out of the running for a spot on the Council.

This followed Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko being barred from standing due failing an eligibility check.

FIFA claimed his role with the Russian Government, which goes against the statutes of world football's governing body, was the reason for decision and is not connected to the allegations against him in the McLaren Report.

Mutko’s inability to stand had appeared to rubber stamped the remaining four candidates as the representatives of European football’s governing body on the Council.

"As a consequence of Mr. Thorsteinsson's withdrawal, UEFA will need to hold an additional election to designate a further European representative for a four-year term to the FIFA Council, and an Extraordinary UEFA Congress will therefore be organised later this year at a date to be decided in due course," a UEFA statement read.

However, a date is yet to be confirmed with FIFA's statutes requiring a four-month campaign that allows time to conduct eligibility checks on potential candidates.