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FIFA

Gianni Infantino re-elected as FIFA President for the third time

Published at :March 17, 2023 at 12:03 AM
Modified at :March 17, 2023 at 12:03 AM
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Rajarshi Shukla


The incumbent President has won the election after being unopposed until 2027.

Gianni Infantino won re-election as FIFA president till 2027 after facing no challengers during the organization's conference on Thursday.

The 211 member federations' delegates ushered in the 52-year-old Swiss attorney who supplanted the infamous Sepp Blatter in 2016 for a third term by approbation, exactly as they did four years prior.

FIFA Congress

In the capital of Rwanda, where the voting procedure did not take into account the amount of dissenting views, Infantino told the delegates, "I love you all.

Infantino said in December that his first three years as president did not constitute a complete term, despite FIFA laws now limiting a president to a total of three four-year terms. This has already set the stage for Infantino to remain until 2031.

Infantino, who fiercely defended Qatar's decision to host the World Cup last year as the Gulf state's treatment of migrant workers, women, and the LGBTQ community came under scrutiny, has presided over the development of the men's and women's World Cups as well as substantial growth in FIFA sales revenue.

Women's World Cup and increasing number of teams at Men's World Cup

While the Women's World Cup will have 32 teams for the very first occasion in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year, the men's World Cup will grow from 32 teams to 48 for the following iteration in North America in 2026.

In addition, Infantino forecasted revenue of $11 billion for the four years leading up to 2026, up from $7.5 billion for the previous cycle of four years ending in 2022.

Two of football's greatest difficulties since Infantino's first re-election in 2019 were FIFA's demand for biennial World Cups and illustrious clubs' demand for a European Super League. Both schemes fell short.

More World Cups were strongly advocated for by Infantino, a development that would directly compete with the European Championship and Copa América as well as rock the Olympic community. Despite the intentional disruption of the domestic structure of European football, he communicated with rebel sides and appeared to at least be sympathetic to them while not formally endorsing the Super League.

Much of Infantino's planned empire-building has been halted by the associations of European and South American football. They cannot, however, win the presidency on their own because their combined support totals just 65 of 211.

Members who are usually more reliant on FIFA funding are pleased with Infantino since he has established a strong power base in Africa.

Also, the first 48-team men's World Cup in 2026 will provide more FIFA money and additional spots to all six zones. That ought to be the pinnacle of Infantino's subsequent tenure in a perhaps still young administration.

Incumbency

After Infantino's previous election, FIFA successfully staged two World Cups in front of sold-out crowds, one on either side of the pandemic that forced the suspension of football for portions of 2020 and 2021, notably a few of its own youth competitions.

Around 1 billion people watched the global coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France. The Australia and New Zealand edition in 2023 will grow from 24 to 32 teams.

With the instability of Sepp Blatter's last years, Infantino inherited Qatar in 2016 and finally decided to move to Doha, attaching himself inextricably to the World Cup host. A stunning press conference held on the eve of the competition was viewed as a significant victory by Qatar and Infantino's backers. As usual, a large portion of Europe disagreed with the criticism.

FIFA and Infantino think that Qatar's World Cup hastened societal development and served as an example for other Middle Eastern nations.

The Stakeholders' Committee, which brought together clubs, leagues, and player unions to assist make decisions on tournaments and laws impacting them, was also disbanded by FIFA.

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