Gianni Infantino was re-elected FIFA president unopposed at the congress of world football’s governing body in Paris as he claimed to have turned the organisation from being toxic and almost criminal back to its core values. Infantino’s re-election was marked by a round of applause from the congress after the statutes were changed earlier in the day to no longer require a vote if there was only one candidate for the position.
The 49-year-old Swiss-Italian lawyer now has a four year mandate to try and accomplish his grandiose plans for football which were partly frustrated in his first term. He has been in charge of FIFA since February 2016, after succeeding Sepp Blatter in the wake of a damaging corruption scandal that Infantino claimed the body had now shaken off.
Infantino said FIFA’s previously precarious financial situation was now looking rosy with the organisation’s budget increased from $5 billion to $6.4bn and reserves up from $1bn to $2.75bn. Infantino claimed 11 areas of progress during his tenure, from financial health, women’s development, the fight against racism and a scandal-free 2026 World Cup bidding process. However, he said the implementation of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system had been his major triumph.
- The Fédération Internationale de Football Association OR ‘International Federation of Association Football’, is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, beach soccer, and efootball.
- FIFA is responsible for the organization of football’s major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women’s World Cup which commenced in 1991.
- FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
- Headquartered in Zürich, its membership now comprises 211 national associations.