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Infantino: Commercial transparency key for FIFA

FIFA president Gianni Infantino says reforming commercial activity is the organisation’s number one priority as the corruption clear out continues.

Infantino was elected FIFA president earlier this year against the backdrop of a huge corruption crisis which saw former president Sepp Blatter and former vice-president Michel Platini banned from football.

After his election, Infantino passed a number of reforms to help clear corruption from FIFA’s ranks, but he admitted there is still plenty of work to do while speaking to the press in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Infantino was asked about limiting the mandates of elected association presidents, but the Swiss administrator argued that increased transparency in commercial transactions was more important than limiting terms.

“On the issue of mandates, FIFA already imposed the president, and members, a maximum of 12 years, with Wilmar [Valdez, Uruguayan Football Association president], we were partners in the reforms committee, we proposed this and is a good example to follow by the confederations and FAs,” he said.

“Personally I do not think that is the biggest problem of football, or football officials. I believe that transparency in commercial acts, in business, is what we have to regulate, much more than people, and we focused on the reform committee, to get transparency in financial flows in FIFA and in the confederations, and if we fix this and we have transparency and we know where it comes from and where goes the money in football, then I think we solve problems of the officials of football.”

Infantino said re-establishing FIFA’s image as a transparent and socially responsible organisation was key to restoring its image.

“We have to earn the trust with concrete acts, being honest, open, transparent, that’s why we are here,” he said.

“We are not afraid, we cannot change the past, but we can influence the future, and that is what we will do together with those who want.

“And those who do not want, or want to steal, that are outside of football, we will expel them. But we are going to show people that we are serious, honest and hopefully, for the good of football, not talk more about these issues and also we must not be the protagonists, the players are the ones who should be the protagonists,.””

Infantino also reiterated his support for jointly-hosted World Cups, with Argentina and Uruguay having expressed interest in a joint bid.

“Before, FIFA  was against [co-hosting nations], but I am in favour of that option, but there are issues that we will have to raise and talk, and then we’ll see what happens,” he said.

Wed 30 Mar, 2016
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