— Published 17 March 2023

Infantino re-elected by acclamation

The victory was a foregone conclusion. Gianni Infantino obtained it without even having to count the votes. Only candidate to his succession, the Italian-Swiss was re-elected by acclamation to the presidency of FIFA, Thursday, March 16 in Kigali, Rwanda, during the 73rd Congress of the world soccer body. He extends until 2027 a lease that began in February 2016. Several European nations had warned that they would not support his re-election. But only three would have kept their word, even if the electoral system chosen for this congress makes it difficult to count the opponents. Norway, Germany and Sweden have made it known that they are not following Gianni Infantino’s lead. Three declared opponents for 211 member national federations. The strong man of world soccer can look forward to his third term with serenity. With his victory close at hand, the FIFA president summed up his vision for the next four years: to further increase the influence and presence of football through an ever-increasing calendar. “We need more, not less, international competitions to develop soccer,” he pleaded before the congress. More competitions, but also more money. FIFA announced on Thursday 16 March that the allocation to teams would be tripled for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the first to 32 countries, co-hosted from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand. It will amount to 150 million dollars, ten times more than the 2015 edition in Canada. Not bad. But women’s soccer is still far from its men’s version, with FIFA distributing $440 million to teams last year for the World Cup in Qatar. Gianni Infantino also assured, Thursday before the Congress, that the Saudi sponsor considered for the Women’s World Cup 2023 – Visit Saudi – would not be part of the adventure.