Global football governing body FIFA re-elected its president Gianni Infantino, who used the opportunity to say he has turned the organisation from being “toxic and almost criminal” back to its core values.
Infantino’s re-election at the congress of world football’s governing body in Paris on Wednesday was marked by a round of applause from the congress after the statutes were changed earlier in the day to no longer require a vote if there was only one candidate for the position.
The 49-year-old Swiss-Italian lawyer now has a four year mandate to try and accomplish his grandiose plans for football which were partly frustrated in his first term.
He has been in charge of FIFA since February 2016, after succeeding Sepp Blatter in the wake of a damaging corruption scandal that Infantino claimed the body had now shaken off.
“Nobody talks about crisis at FIFA any more or rebuilding it from scratch. Nobody talks about scandals or corruption, we talk about football. We can say that we’ve turned the situation around,” he told the congress in a lengthy speech at Paris Expo.
“This organisation has gone from being toxic, almost criminal, to being what it should be an organisation that develops football and is now synonymous with transparency, integrity.”
“Today everything is open and transparent. It is not possible at FIFA to make hidden payments of do anything unethical with our money. There is no more place for corruption,” he claimed.
Infantino said FIFA’s previously precarious financial situation was now looking rosy with the organisation’s budget increased from $5 billion to $6.4bn and reserves up from $1bn to $2.75bn.