In­fantino claims credit for re­viv­ing FIFA

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

FIFA Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino says un­der his watch foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body has trans­formed from “clin­i­cally dead as an or­ga­ni­za­tion” to be­ing “alive and well.”

In­fantino tells mem­ber fed­er­a­tions that FIFA is now “full of joy and pas­sion with a vi­sion for its fu­ture.”

The Swiss lawyer was elected in Fe­bru­ary 2016, nine months af­ter Amer­i­can and Swiss fed­eral prosecutors un­sealed sweep­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions of bribery and cor­rup­tion linked to se­nior FIFA of­fi­cials.

In­fantino’s speech at the an­nual congress of 211 mem­bers sig­nals the next pres­i­den­tial elec­tion pe­riod start­ing.

The next FIFA elec­tion is June 5 next year in Paris. In­fantino, who suc­ceeded Sepp Blat­ter, is yet to con­firm his can­di­dacy for a new four-year term.

In­fantino says FIFA now has “ab­so­lute trans­parency” in its fi­nances, with more than $6.1 bil­lion in­come for the 4-year com­mer­cial cy­cle tied to the World Cup in Rus­sia.

This was achieved “de­spite the worst cri­sis FIFA has ex­pe­ri­enced,” he says.

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin is due to speak to global soc­cer lead­ers be­fore the vote to se­lect the host of the 2026 World Cup.

Eight years ago at the last World Cup host­ing vote, Putin flew in to Zurich to host a news con­fer­ence cel­e­brat­ing Rus­sia win­ning the right to stage the 2018 tour­na­ment.

Former FIFA Pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter is claim­ing credit for Morocco not be­ing elim­i­nated by in­spec­tors as a can­di­date to host the 2026 World Cup, al­low­ing the North African na­tion to take on the joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada in Wed­nes­day’s vote.

Blat­ter, who was ousted from power at FIFA in 2015 over fi­nan­cial mis­con­duct, has pub­licly backed the Morocco bid.

He says “I was fight­ing for Morocco and for Africa be­cause at a cer­tain time (FIFA) wanted to elim­i­nate Morocco be­fore go­ing to the vote, and now, they are at the vote and I think it’s a vic­tory also of my in­ter­ven­tion, es­pe­cially.”

Morocco was scored 2.7 out of 5 by FIFA’s in­spec­tion task force, which marked the North Amer­ica bid a 4 in the re­port last month. Morocco would have been dis­qual­i­fied if it had scored lower than 2.

In April, Blat­ter had tweeted: “Just re­call a fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­pal in FIFA: De­ci­sion taken in 2011: the congress shall de­cide on the at­tri­bu­tion of the World Cup 2026 - and not any sub-com­mit­tee or task-force. Each can­di­date must have the right to make a presentation at the congress.” – AP

Photo: AP

FIFA Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino ar­rives at the FIFA congress on the eve of the opener of the 2018 soc­cer World Cup in Moscow, Rus­sia on Wed­nes­day.

Photo: AP

In this May 14, 2018, file photo, peo­ple make bets in the sports book at the South Point ho­tel and casino in Las Vegas.

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