Joseph Romanos: Is Gianni Infantino seriously the man to offer Fifa a fresh start out?
I can’t very join the worldwide rush to welcome to new Fifa boss Gianni Infantino.
The bald-head Swiss has replaced Sepp Blatter – a further bald-headed Swiss – as president with the world football federation immediately after a tumultuous meeting in Zurich and football followers around the globe have already been swift to hail the starting of a new era.
Infantino promptly declared that Fifa’s “moment of crisis is over”. That seems doubtful.
Dozens of the world’s major football officials have been indicted for corruption following criminal investigations inside the United states of america and Switzerland.
There remains tremendous unease concerning the situations in which Fifa awarded the 2018 Globe Cup to Russia plus the 2022 tournament to Qatar, with widespread corruption inside the voting method alleged.
There is worse to come – Swiss authorities are nevertheless investigating much more than 150 reports of suspicious Fifa economic activity.
Is Infantino, a 45-year-old lawyer, the man to turn around the organisation soon after the scandal-ridden years with the Joao Havelange (1974 till 1998) and Blatter (1998 till 2016) presidency reigns?
I am sceptical.
Infantino won a close vote more than Bahrainian Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, who was fighting allegations he was connected with all the torture of footballers in Bahrain. It was hardly a ringing endorsement of your Swiss.
His significant election plank was his NZ$2 billion promise that Fifa would gift NZ$7.five million to each and every of its 209 member nations and $60m to each and every of its six confederations per four-year cycle.
The Swiss was not even a candidate for the Fifa presidency till his Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) boss, Michel Platini, was suspended for financial impropriety late last year.