The Swiss Gianni Infantino was re-elected this Thursday as FIFA president until 2027 by acclamation, as the sole candidate, during the 73rd Congress that the organization is holding in kigali (Rwanda).
Before his re-election for the position he has held for seven years, Infantino reviewed achievements of the last four years, such as the celebration of “the best World Cups in history, both female and male”, together with the figures of 5,000 million spectators worldwide and 3,000 million fans in all the stadiums in Qatar 2022 and the 1.2 billion viewers in France 2019.
“In Qatar the stadiums were excellent, the infrastructure perfect, zero incidents. Someone could say that it was because people did not drink alcohol, it is not known, but it was a very peaceful tournament. We assume our responsibility with human rights issues and the legacy we leave behind in Qatar,” he said.
He also referred to the reaction capacity that the body could have had in the face of the health crisis caused by the pandemic, to carry out a support plan of 1,500 million dollars to help non-professional soccer, and the increase in income from 7.5 billion dollars, above budget.
“I promised that we were going to achieve greater stability and transparency in FIFA, regaining the trust of sponsors and broadcasters and we have delivered. When I arrived, bookings were around a billion and now they are at almost 4,000so we have more funds to invest,” he said.
The increase in the amounts for development programs, so that each federation receives seven times more -about $8 million from 2023 to 2026- and the return by the Department of Justice of the United States of 200,000 million, “stolen” by the corruption cases, were other of the economic aspects highlighted by the president.
“Funds don’t just disappear, every dollar invested goes through an independent auditThat’s why they trust us and it’s something that makes us proud,” he said, before listing his commitments for this new mandate.
Among them, he highlighted the forecast of obtaining 11,000 million dollars in income, without including those from the new and expanded Club World Cup; the celebration of the next world cups, the Australian and New Zealand women’s this year with 32 selections; the United States, with 48 teams, so that “they are the best in history”, and the new Club World Cup, every 4 years from 2025, with the 32 best teams from around the world.
“We need more competitions so that this sport can grow around the world. We are discussing a Women’s Club World Cup, every year there will also be a small tournament with the champions of each confederation and we have talked about holding a ‘world series’ for the national teams in years after the world cup. In most of the world there is not enough quality football,” he advanced.
Infantino referred at this point to the international match calendar, “the most important tool for coordination between international matches and clubs”, in your opinion. “Yesterday we reached a unanimous agreement until 2030 that will allow us to work and be more inclusive, we must protect the health of footballers and that is why we have created a working group to analyze how,” she stressed.
“Being president of FIFA is an incredible honour. It carries with it a great responsibility, I am deeply moved by your support, I promise you that I will continue to serve football and put FIFA at the service of football. We have promised to work honestly to protect associations and to the fans, because We never have to forget that football is joy, it is peace and unites the whole world”he assured before Congress unanimously approved the points of the agency’s annual report.
The mandate that Gianni Infantino begins today is his second, since his first election was made to complete the one he had started Joseph Blatter in June 2015, so when it ends, he will be able to opt for another one until 2031, since the regulations limit presidential terms to 12 years.
The FIFA Congress elected the Swiss leader (Brig, 1970) for the first time on February 26, 2016, after having been UEFA General Secretary, in elections held after the corruption scandal that ended the 18-year term of Joseph Blatter.
Then he defeated the sheikh of Bahrain in the second ballot, with 115 votes to 88. Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa. In the first consultation, Jordanian was ruled out Ali Bin Al Hussein and the French Jerome Champagne. On June 5, 2019, Infantino was re-elected as the sole candidate by acclamation, the same as today.