How long will Infantino reign as FIFA president after re-election?
The FIFA president was re-elected at the Rwandan Congress, despite criticism and disagreements with some federations.
He compared his own election to the summit of global football to the post-genecide rebuild of Rwanda. Given some of his comments at the Qatar World Cup, maybe that was not a surprise. But he urged once again for more football to be played throughout the world as he, Gianni Infantino, was re-elected as FIFA president on Thursday at the 73rd Congress in Kigali. He made a record income pledge of $11 billion for the upcoming four-year cycle.
Revenue-focused Infantino to remain in charge of FIFA
Infantino faced no opposition, which made his re-election as the head of football’s governing body a formality. Yet, member associations do not always see Infantino favourably for a variety of reasons, including his support for the World Cup’s unsuccessful attempt to be held every two years, not to mention his tendency to be drawn to specific parts of the world, those with deep pockets, or wells.
“It is an incredible honour and privilege, and a great responsibility,” the chief said. “I promise to continue serving FIFA and football around the world. To those that love me, and I know there are many, and those who hate me... I love you all.”
Infantino acknowledged that FIFA’s revenue reached record highs in the previous cycle of 2019–22, but he pledged to significantly increase it once again as a result of the expansion of the men’s and women’s World Cup competitions and the addition of a 32-team Club World Cup.
“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. 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].
“We must improve our regulations and the FIFA statutes. We will continue to evolve our good governance principles and look at the transfer system, and maybe have a discussion to improve transparency of transfer fees and salaries. It might be necessary to introduce a cap, we have to think how we can do that. We will look at it with all stakeholders and see what we can do.”
Following Sepp Blatter’s departure in 2016, Infantino was initially chosen at an Extraordinary Congress, and he was re-elected without opposition three years later. Yet since this is technically his second term, he will be eligible for a third and final term in four years. That could see his lavish procession continue until 2031. Let’s see what state the Beautiful Game is in by then.
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