Gianni Infantino has vowed to put football development at the top of FIFA’s agenda if he is successful in the presidential elections next year.
UEFA’s general secretary entered the race to succeed the outgoing Sepp Blatter on Monday – the deadline for submission of FIFA candidates – after receiving the unanimous backing of UEFA’s Executive Committee.
Infantino – who has worked at European football’s governing body for six years – was “humbled and honoured” to have received UEFA’s support and pledged to bring about change within FIFA if elected.
In a statement he said: “I can confirm that following the decision of the UEFA Executive Committee, I have today submitted my candidature, with the required declarations of support, to become the next FIFA President.
“Throughout my time in football I have always worked hard to serve the best interests of our great game and to support the principles of good governance and genuine integrity.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved at UEFA and the way in which we conduct ourselves as an organisation. The values at the heart of UEFA are shared by many in the global football family.
“I will in due course be setting out my detailed thinking in a manifesto which will address the challenges and opportunities ahead.
“It will be based on the need for reform and also for a FIFA that genuinely serves the interests of all 209 national associations, big or small, and that puts football and football development at the top of its agenda.
“If elected I would lead that change in partnership with all who want to see a FIFA worthy of governing the world’s number one sport with dignity and respect.”