In­fantino has full grip on FIFA

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

couldn’t have gone any bet­ter for Gianni In­fantino on the eve of yes­ter­day’s World Cup start.

His pre­ferred can­di­dates won the right to host the 2026 World Cup, he had praise heaped on him by Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, and re­ceived big ap­plause when he an­nounced that he would be run­ning for re-elec­tion as FIFA pres­i­dent again next year.

It didn’t even mat­ter that he wan­dered off in the wrong di­rec­tion in the huge congress hall at Moscow’s Ex­pocen­tre in an at­tempt to wel­come Putin, who ap­peared on stage from the other end. In­fantino apolo­get­i­cally raised his arms and rushed over to meet the pres­i­dent who didn’t dis­ap­point him. “He stood at the helm of FIFA in very com­pli­cated times but he is very good as our front­man, as a true fighter,” Putin said of In­fantino. The FIFA boss re­turned the com­pli­ment, clearly en­joy­ing the back-pat­ting: “From the bot­tom of our heart a big big big thank you to you Mr Putin for mak­ing us re­ally feel part of the same team.” And he was also happy when the fi­nan­cially lu­cra­tive and over­all safe bid by the United States, Canada and Mex­ico with its pro­jected rev­enue of US$14.3b (RM56b) beat Morocco to host the 2026 tour­na­ment. In­fantino con­fi­dently told mem­bers that FIFA’s cred­i­bil­ity and fi­nances had been re­stored un­der his lead­er­ship, which fol­lows that of the now­banned Joseph Blat­ter. And he left no doubt who was re­spon­si­ble for these al­leged changes for the bet­ter af­ter years marred by scan­dal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.