Infantino’s imminent re-election denies African football bosses heavy perks and kickbacks
Fifa President Gianni Infantino has practically secured a second four-year term as as the leader of world football’s governing body, a move that is likely to frustrate a majority of Africa’s Football Association bosses.
On Wednesday Fifa announced that only Infantino had the required nomination letters from five of the 211 member federations following the lapse of the deadline at midnight on Tuesday in Zurich, Switzerland.
However, Infantino will still be required to pass eligibility and integrity checks for the elections slated for June 5 in Paris, before the women’s World Cup, which starts two days later in France.
But this news will surely disappoint many FA presidents in Africa who are infamous for soliciting for heavy perks and kickbacks from candidates running for office in exchange for their votes.
Fifa’s electioneering period is a well-funded exercise which usually comes with goodies including but no limited to increased grants, heavy kickbacks for federation heads and promises of the ‘launch’ of development projects all aimed at enticing member countries to vote one way or the other.
But with Infantino’s reelection as good as guaranteed, no such scenario is likely to arise during the Fifa Congress in the French capital.
The 48-year-old Swiss-Italian lawyer, who succeeded Sepp Blatter as the head of world football’s governing body in February 2016, is widely expected to retain his seat unopposed with support already pledged from most Fifa members.
Since being elected, Infantino has proposed the expansion of the Fifa World Cup to 48 teams in the 2026 tournament, which will be co-hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico.