FIA president Mosley says sex scandal hasn't played part in plans to leave in '09

LONDON -- FIA president Max Mosley intends to step down in 2009 even if given a vote of confidence by a special general assembly following his alleged involvement with prostitutes.

His future as the leader of world motor racing's governing body will be decided in Paris on June 3.

A British tabloid reported this month that Mosley engaged in sex acts with five prostitutes in a scenario that involved Nazi role-playing. Mosley admits visiting the prostitutes but denies any Nazi connotation.

The 68-year-old Mosley has been under pressure to quit. Mosley was quoted by The Sunday Telegraph as saying he wants to step down in 2009 even if he wins the secret vote by 222 national motoring member organizations from 130 countries.

"If they wish me to continue, I will continue; if they don't, I'll stop," Mosley told the newspaper. "But I will also say to them that it was always my intention, because it is, that I was never going to go beyond 2009.

"The reason's very simple. If you stop in 2009, aged 69, you can maybe still do something else useful. Were I to stay on till I was 73, I'd be getting very marginal."

Mosley is suing The News of the World, which reported the sex acts on March 30 and showed video excerpts of the episode on its Web site.

While four auto manufacturers and several national motoring federations have publicly criticized Mosley, he told The Sunday Telegraph that he had received more than seven letters of support for each critical one.

"It would then be impossible to turn around to all these people, the great majority, and say, 'No, I'm going to walk away', even if I'm inclined to," Mosley said. "But my inclination is to stay and fight."

However, the South African federation has said it will vote against him fulfilling his fourth mandate, which lasts until October 2009.

Mosley said his wife and two sons were embarrassed by the revelations about his private life but that his "eccentric" behavior has no effect on his suitability for his job.

Mosley is the son of British Union of Fascists party founder Oswald Mosley, a former British politician who served in Parliament for both the Labour and Conservative parties. Oswald Mosley, who had Adolf Hitler as a guest at his wedding, died in 1980.