Gianni Infantino, the 52-year-old Swiss, has been re-elected as the president of the world's governing body of football, FIFA, for the third time. The election took place at the 73rd FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda on Thursday, where Infantino was the only candidate and was confirmed by acclamation.
The delegates expressed their agreement with applause and a standing ovation.
Infantino's Commitment to FIFA
In his acceptance speech, Infantino thanked the delegates and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve as FIFA's president.
He acknowledged the honor and privilege of being in the position but also the immense responsibility that comes with it. Infantino assured the delegates that they can continue to trust in his commitment to FIFA. "Let me simply thank all of you.
Those who love me, you are many, and the few who hate me, I love you all. Being FIFA president is a big honor and privilege but also a huge responsibility. You can continue to trust on my commitment," Infantino said.
FIFA's Financial Success Under Infantino's Leadership
Infantino enjoys the support of the majority of FIFA's 211 national associations.
Since he took over as FIFA's president in 2016, he has overseen significant economic success for the world association. FIFA's revenues are expected to reach at least 11 billion US dollars by 2026, with most of the money being passed on to the associations.
"Revenues rose to a record $7.5 billion (to 2022) in a period that was hit by COVID-19. When I arrived, FIFA reserves stood at around $1 billion, today they are at almost $4 billion," Infantino said. "We promise new record revenues for the next cycle of $11 billion, and the new Club World Cup is not included in that figure, so it could increase by a couple of billion (more)." Infantino also stated that FIFA will continue to improve its regulations and governance principles, and that they will examine the transfer system to improve transparency of transfer fees and salaries.
He mentioned that it might be necessary to introduce a cap and that they will consider all stakeholders before making a decision.
Infantino was born in the Swiss Valais, just like his predecessor Joseph Blatter, and was the General Secretary of the European Football Union UEFA before moving to FIFA.
Although Infantino enjoys the support of many national associations, he is highly controversial in some parts of Europe. The associations of Germany, Norway, and Sweden had announced that they would not vote for him. A number of affairs and inconsistencies have shaped Infantino's image as FIFA's president, and two special public prosecutors are investigating an opaque judicial affair against him in Switzerland, which he denies.