FIFA: Gianni Infantino wins support to potentially extend presidency until 2031 | world news

Gianni Infantino has secured the backing of the FIFA Council to possibly extend his presidency until 2031 – beyond the 12-year limit envisaged in reforms to the scandal-ridden football body he helped elaborate.

The job of managing world football brings in around $3m (£2.46m) a year and he is unopposed for re-election in March.

FIFA’s governing body chaired by Mr Infantino today confirmed that he is in only his first term as president, disregarding his first three years in office as counting towards the limits of mandate.

After scandals that toppled Sepp Blatter and threatened FIFA’s future, Mr Infantino was elected in 2016 to complete the remainder of his disgraced predecessor’s term in a special election.

Mr Infantino was re-elected by the FIFA Congress in 2019 and it has now been decided – at a private meeting in Qatar – to count as his first term.

The Swiss-Italian will be re-elected for a new term in March when the 211 member associations gather.

The former secretary general of UEFA could then run for four more years at the helm of world football from 2027 to 2031, which would give him 15 years in this position.

In December, FIFA’s reform committee said that in future the president should not serve “more than three four-year terms (whether or not consecutive) for a maximum of 12 years”.

Taking the last part of the sentence would mean that Mr. Infantino would have to leave office in 2028.

But at a press conference today in Qatar, Mr Infantino said the FIFA Council had provided “clarifications which concern me”.

He added: “The clarification regarding my tenure. So currently I am in my first term and on March 16, during the FIFA President election in Kigali Rwanda, my second term as President of the FIFA. will start. There is a limit of three terms.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino shakes hands with David Beckham in the stands at the World Cup in Qatar

One of the reasons for term limits was to prevent football leaders from staying in power too long and creating political dependencies on the leader.

Mr Blatter served as FIFA President for 17 years and his predecessor Joao Havelange held the post for 24 years.

Mr Infantino held a position on FIFA’s reform committee in his previous role as chief administrative officer of the European governing body as UEFA general secretary.

His candidacy for the FIFA presidency was announced in October 2015 after the frontrunner – then UEFA President Michel Platini – was suspended.


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