Seven out of 10 fans don’t trust Fifa as presidential election looms

Half of football fans worldwide do not think Fifa can ever restore its tattered reputation, based on a poll released prior to this week’s presidential election.

As the last-ditch electioneering continued, Uefa’s common secretary, Gianni Infantino, claimed to possess the backing of greater than half of Africa’s 54 voters as he seeks to rattle his most important rival, the Asian Football Confederation’s president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa.

The Bahraini has currently secured the official backing from the Confederation of African Football but Infantino, meeting with another rival, Tokyo Sexwale, in South Africa, insisted he had won the backing from the majority of African associations.

Infantino’s claim is important simply because if accurate, in light in the truth voters frequently guarantee their backing to greater than 1 candidate, it would hugely boost his chances of victory. ‘I will make an impact. I will have a majority on the African votes,’ he stated on a trip to Robben Island, exactly where Sexwale had been imprisoned alongside Nelson Mandela.

‘In the discussions I’ve had with several African [football] presidents, I can say I feel incredibly confident,’ he said.

Meanwhile, there was also a reminder in the extended shadow the US and Swiss criminal investigations are casting over the five-way contest. In its annual report HSBC confirmed on Monday it had received inquiries in the US Division of Justice with regards to ‘certain individuals and entities which are or may well be connected with Fifa’.

The global bank added: ‘The DoJ is investigating irrespective of whether a number of economic institutions, including HSBC, permitted the processing of suspicious or otherwise improper transactions, or failed to observe applicable [anti-money laundering] laws and regulations. HSBC is cooperating using the DoJ’s investigation.’

Other banks are believed to be similarly co-operating. Fifa insiders are bracing themselves in case the US department, which precipitated Fifa’s collapse with May’s indictment and arrests, or the Swiss authorities, strategy additional action this week. According to the Transparency International poll, carried out on its behalf by Football Addicts, practically seven in ten fans have no confidence in world football’s crisis-hit governing body. Inside the UK, that figure was 76%.

Mistrust was highest in Chile, Argentina, Ireland, South Korea and Spain, while fans in Thailand, Japan, Russia, South Africa and Qatar were probably to say they nevertheless had self-confidence in Fifa.