Gianni Infantino re-elected as FIFA President for the third time – having run unopposed

Gianni Infantino FIFA President

Gianni Infantino has been re-elected as president after suggesting the financial results under his leadership would keep an industry CEO in the job for life.

Infantino had no election opponent and won by acclaim instead of a formal vote by the congress of 211 member federations whose basic annual funding from has risen from £207,000 ($250,000) to £1.67million ($2m) since his first win in 2016.

had £3.3billion ($4bn) reserves after the World Cup in Qatar finished in December. It has conservatively forecast record revenue of at least £9.1bn ($11bn) through the men’s 2026 World Cup being hosted in North America.

Ahead of the election, had already approved plans to expand the Club World Cup to 32 teams in 2025, while Infantino opened the first ‘Pele’ stadium in Kigali after calling for all nations to name a ground after the Brazilian icon.

‘If a CEO tells the stakeholders that the products were multiplied by seven I believe that they would keep that CEO forever,’ Infantino told members. ‘They would love for this story to keep on going.

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‘But I am here for a four-year cycle only,’ said Infantino, whose presidency can eventually run for 15 years through 2031.

The Swiss lawyer was first elected in 2016 with in crisis after a sweeping United States federal investigation of corruption removed a swath of soccer officials in the Americas. The fallout also removed veteran president Sepp Blatter from office within months of being re-elected.

Under Infantino, has created new and bigger competitions – raising its income and giving national teams more chances to qualify for the men’s and women’s World Cups, while facing down resistance from European soccer officials.

FIFA’s support for 2022 World Cup host Qatar, where Infantino moved to live in 2021, and his close ties to Saudi Arabian soccer have also caused unease among rights activists and some European member federations.

That spilled over at the World Cup in a dispute over and Qatari organisers blocking some team captains wearing an anti-discrimination armband.

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‘To all those that love me, and I know there are so many, and those that hate me, and I know there are a few, I love you all of course, today especially,’ Infantino said after being elected.

In an earlier congress-opening address, Infantino said he took inspiration from Rwanda’s recovery from its genocidal civil war of the 1990s when his own campaign to become president in 2016 was struggling.

Infantino said he was told on a campaign visit to Rwanda he would not be supported. ‘Of course, I was pretty depressed, about to give up,’ he said, recalling a visit he made to the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

‘What this country has suffered and how this country came back up is inspiring for the entire world. So I certainly couldn’t give up because somebody is telling me something,’ he told member federations.

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