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Second term FIFA boss Infantino seeks re-election

Gianni Infantino gives a thumbs up

Infantino has yet to convince everyone about his reforming credentials

(Keystone)

FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, says he wants to stand for a second term in office next year. The Swiss national took over from disgraced predecessor Sepp Blatter with the organization mired in scandal.

Infantino, a former General Secretary at UEFA, was voted into the position in February 2016 promising a raft of reforms to end years of corruption at football’s world governing body. He became a last-minute contender for the post after his boss, Michel Platini, bowed out amid claims of corruption.

"We have a vision for football. We transform FIFAexternal link. We're taking FIFA into a new era,” Infantino announced at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on Wednesday, the day before the World Cup 2018 begins in Russia. “I announce to all of you – I will run for re-election in Paris.” The election will take place on June 5, 2019 in the French capital.

Under FIFA statutes, presidents can stand for a maximum of three consecutive four-year terms.

Infantino’s early months in the job proved anything but plain sailing. A disagreement over his pay ended with him being awarded an annual salary of CHF1.5 million ($1.5 million) plus CHF2,000 in monthly expenses. He was accused of fiddling expenses, but was cleared by a FIFA investigation in 2016.

Swiss anti-corruption campaigner Mark Pieth accused Infantino of dragging FIFA back to the “Middle Ages” as he orchestrated extra powers for the executive body to be able to hire and fire officers of its independent ethics bodies. That authority was exercised in May 2017 to replace ethics investigator Cornel Borbely and chief ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert – the top figures investigating corruption at FIFA.

A series of long-running criminal investigations into FIFA, that are being conducted in various countries, are still ongoing.

swissinfo.ch/mga

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