FIFA president Gianni Infantino is set to stay in charge for four more years after no candidate came forward to challenge him. Exactly four months before voting day on March 16 in Kigali, Rwanda, FIFA reported that the 52-year-old Swiss lawyer was the only candidate to enter the race by the deadline. Sepp Blatter’s successor, Infantino, was elected without opposition in 2019 after winning a battle with five candidates in 2016. After the United States, Canada, and Mexico host the 2026 World Cup, he is now expected to continue in his position. In accordance with FIFA regulations, Infantino is also eligible to run one final time in 2026, meaning he would continue to serve as president through the 2031 World Cup.
The first three years of Infantino’s presidency—during which he completed a term begun by Blatter—do not count toward the 12-year cap agreed to in changes negotiated after a protracted corruption crisis before his first election due to a peculiarity in FIFA’s constitution. A probe into Infantino’s three unreported meetings with then-attorney general Michael Lauber in 2016 and 2017, while American and Swiss federal investigations into football officials were underway, is one political threat to Infantino’s leadership. It is not yet clear how that case, which is being watched over by the Swiss parliament, is moving forward or how much authority it has over Infantino as a private person. All wrongdoing has been refuted by him.
Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, is “deluded” to believe that World Cup competitors will remain mute regarding human rights issues while the competition is taking place in Qatar, according to the CEO of Kick It Out. Infantino urged the 32 competing nations in a letter sent earlier this month to concentrate on the activity taking place on the field and “not allow football to be drawn into every ideological or political fight that exists.” The 12-year period leading up to the finals in Qatar has been marred by controversy regarding the nation’s handling of migrant workers and the safety of local and foreign LGBTQ+ community members in a nation where same-sex partnerships are illegal.
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