In February of 2016, Gianni Infantino was elected president of FIFA! Seceding Sepp Blatter, Infantino’s began his term that will end term in 2019. “I want to be the president of all of you. I travelled through the globe and I will continue to do this. I want to work with all of you to restore and rebuild a new era where we can put football in the centre of the stage,” Infantino told the federation after his victory.
Here are 10 facts you need to know about Gianni Infantino:
- He was elected as the ninth FIFA president at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich. The election went to a second ballot for the first time since 1974.
- Gianni Infantino gave 5 million dollars to every football association in the world straight after being elected. All for the development of the beautiful game, of course.
- Infantino is a 45-year-old Swiss-Italian, who will complete Sepp Blatter’s term and serve until 2019.
- The new president was born in Brig, Switzerland; 6 miles from Blatter’s hometown of Visp.
- Infantino is the second FIFA president to be born in Switzerland.
- Prior to his new role, he had been UEFA General Secretary since 2009. He is also a qualified lawyer.
- He was originally nominated after Michel Platini was suspended by FIFA.
- Infantino advocates expanding the World Cup from 32 to 40 teams.
- Vision Statement: “Taking football forward”.
- Key promises: Implement strict and independent control over monetary flows, including public disclosure of payments to elected FIFA members and top management, as well as a clear and transparent bidding procedure for the FIFA World Cup.
With a new FIFA president that has one shiny glow on the top of his head, it’s never too soon to start preparing for the 2018 World Cup in Russia!