Gianni Infantino Gains Re-Election As FIFA President
Gianni Infantino, the Swiss lawyer and president of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), has been re-elected for a third term until 2027.
The election took place during the FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, where Infantino was the only candidate to run for the position. The delegates from the 211 member federations unanimously re-elected Infantino by acclamation on Thursday.
Infantino succeeded former FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2016 and has since focused on expanding the men’s and women’s World Cup while increasing FIFA’s revenues.
Under his leadership, the 2026 World Cup, which will be the first edition to feature 48 teams, was announced as the “most inclusive World Cup ever.” Infantino shared that the tournament in North America would feature 104 matches, a significant increase from the 64 played in the most recent World Cup, as it would begin with 12 groups of four teams.
Additionally, Infantino plans to introduce an expanded Club World Cup to be played every four years, starting in 2025 and featuring 32 teams. He believes that there should be more competitions worldwide, not fewer. The upcoming women’s World Cup, which will take place in Australia and New Zealand later this year, will be the first to feature 32 teams, up from 24 teams at the last edition in 2019.
Infantino’s re-election has sparked mixed reactions, with some praising his efforts to expand the World Cup and increase FIFA’s revenue, while others criticize his management style and authoritarian tendencies.
FIFA’s statutes currently limit the president to a maximum of three four-year terms, but Infantino has already declared that his first three years at the helm did not count as a full term.
Therefore, he has prepared the ground to stay until 2031. In his acceptance speech, he thanked those who supported him and even those who opposed him, stating, “To all those who love me, and I know there are so many, and also those who hate me, I know there are a few: I love you all.”
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