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UEFA boss elected

Infantino given task of cleaning up FIFA

Coca Cola World CupSwiss law graduate Gianni Infantino was yesterday handed the task of tackling world football governing body FIFA’s scandal-hit reputation.

The UEFA general secretary was elected to succeed Sepp Blatter and immediately pledged the restore the image of the organisation.

The 45-year-old. who has led Europe’s governing body for seven years, told FIFA’s congress in Zurich:  “I feel a lot of emotion and have not realised yet what has happened today.

“We have to build bridges, not build walls. Football can certainly do that. I want to focus on football.”

He beat Asian Football Confederation President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain and the two trailing candidates, Prince Ali and Jerome Champagne.

His election was partially helped because his former boss and UEFA president Michel Platini was banned from football last year along with Mr Blatter for violating ethical standards.

Mr Infantino becomes the ninth president in FIFA’s 112-year history and his role will be less autocratic following a number of reforms intended to make the organisation more transparent, professional and accountable. There will be a set term for top officials.

Criminal investigations in the United States and Switzerland have resulted in the indictment of dozens of football officials and other entities for corruption, many of them serving or former presidents of national or continental associations.

FIFA is also investigating the awarding of the World Cup finals to Russia in 2018 and atar in 2022.

Swiss authorities are reviewing more than 150 reports of suspicious financial activity linked to those awards.

Coca-Cola was among a number of sponsors which demanded reform or it would pull out of the tournaments.

 

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