Having run unopposed, Gianno Infantino has been re-elected as the FIFA President at the FIFA Extraordinary congress that is happening in Kigali Rwanda. He was first elected to office during the 2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress in February 2016 and was re-elected in June 2019.
The 52-year-old Swiss-Italian lawyer was confirmed in office by acclamation at the gathering in Kigali. It is officially his first re-election since he initially took over the remaining term of his suspended predecessor, Joseph Blatter, in 2016. This means he can seek another term from 2027 until 2031, according to FIFA statutes.
“Let me simply thank all of you,” Infantino told delegates after being confirmed by a standing ovation at the 73rd FIFA Congress, where the voting system did not register the number of dissident voices. “Those who love me, you are many, and the few who hate me, I love you all,” he said.
“Being FIFA president is a big honour and privilege but also a huge responsibility. You can continue to trust my commitment. I’m truly humbled and touched by your support. I promise you, I will continue serving FIFA, serving football all over the world, serving all 211 member associations of FIFA.” He added
Gianno Infantino speaks highly of his first time attending a final in Africa where Congo was the victor after President Paul Kagame offered him a ticket to attend the final. He has likened his FIFA journey to the turnaround that Rwanda has seen since the genocide. “The country has flourished since the years of the genocide,” he said.
Did Infantino have everyone’s backing?
The Swiss lawmaker has not been a favourite for many fans around the world, first for taking the World cup to the Middle East in Qatar but importantly, he did not have much support from some countries and federations given his desire to make the world cup a bi-annual tournament.
England, Spain, and Germany are some of the countries that have not shied away from stating their dislike for the way in which he has run the federation. However, he ran unopposed and will now be at the helm of the biggest sports association in the world till 2027 and could potentially run to 2031.
Infantino is seen as a man who is looking to close the gap between the powerful nations and the weaker nations in the sport and this has been seen in the investments that the country has made in low- and middle-income countries in terms of infrastructure and development of leaders in those regions.
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Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.